Behind the mining debate is a more depressing story.
Mining our national parks is supposed to tap our rich resources, upgrade our economy, move us forward. It threatens to undermine our clean and green brand on which so many of our products rely.
Sadly, it’s more clutching at straws, trying to emulate Australia which we’re trying to catch. It’s ad hoc, quick fix, get rich quick. It’s short termism, shows a real lack of imagination, an absence of anything strategic, forward thinking or sustainable.
What we are not seeing is that Australia is not content to rely on its minerals. It’s investing in science – upping its investment by 25%. It’s giving breaks to innovative companies. Finland, Denmark, Singapore are all doing similarly.
NZ will not become prosperous overnight. It needs long term thinking, a commitment to capitalising on our brains and building innovation into our economy through our brightest companies. We need to be clean, green and clever.
It’s time for an economic strategy from the Key government, not a simple knee-jerk, bandwagon approach.