During a very interesting talk and film showing by Cath Delahunty last week, it was mentioned that the final date for submissions on the Mining Discussion document put out by MED is Wednesday, 26th May, 2010.

There will be a group presentation of submissions collected by Green party staffers so far on Tuesday 25th May at 12.30pm, at MED house, Bowen St, Wellington CBD.
You can get a copy of the discussion document from MED here, and a submission guide is available here.
Too complicated? Quick submission link here.
Any who would like to accompany the submission presenters are welcome; dressing up as a bird is optional (showing solidarity with the fauna who will be losing their habitat if the mining goes ahead).

The talk and discussion last Wednesday evening at St John’s, Willis St, was a great opportunity to view one of Vanguard Films early works, produced in the 80’s during the last great mining protests on the Coromandel – called “Prospect” – and despite a few moments of hilarity at the 80’s fluoro fashions, we sat soberly viewing protesters being arrested and removed from exactly the same sites that are under question again in the MED Discussion document.

Cath also showed a presentation of pictures from recent visits to sites of old mining claims in the Coromandel and near Reefton, visited by Co-leader Metiria Turei and herself over the past few weeks. The fact that even old tailings dams are still leaking toxic runoff gives no confidence to plans to increase the number of toxic sites in our country by allowing more mining to occur.

Cath finishing her talk with an appeal for more submissions.

Cath finishing her talk with an appeal for more submissions.

Ken Graham, at the beginning of the show.

Ken Graham, at the beginning of the show.

Despite a rainy and cold Wednesday night, I had decided that this was going to be a major Budget in the annals of NZ history, so it would be worth a trip to the Back Bencher pub and a look at the show this week. Besides, I like listening to Ken, and it seemed that a panel composed of Louise Upston for National, Darren Hughes for Labour, Sir Roger Douglas for Act, and our Kennedy Graham for the Greens would have potential to be interesting, if not unintentionally outright hilarious.

I arrived just before the show was due to start, and not having arranged to meet anyone, ended up seated with a couple of guys who admitted to being old schoolfriends of Darren Hughes, who’d come down from the Horowhenua to see him perform on the show. They were pleasant and interesting folk, and were quite happy to have me perched on the spare edge of their table, in what was a rather packed public house – a scene I’d not participated in since the pre-election sessions of 2008.

The evening was just as funny as I’d anticipated, with the added bonus of Salient editor Sarah Robson (recently nominated for a Qantas Media Award) being given her 15 minutes of fame on the subject of budget cuts to VUW enrolments, which had just been announced this week.

Ken acquitted himself well in the ensuing melee, managing to plug the Mind the Gap green policy announcement very effectively.
(For a podcast of the policy announcement, go here.)

The full episode is available via TVNZ On Demand here.

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