Friday, February 27, 2009

Gold mining - keeping the money here

This week I had the opportunity to visit the Oceana gold mining operation at Reefton. It really was quite something to see, particularly as it is in the middle of Victoria Conservation Park. Sometimes it seems that DOC and the RMA can work hand in hand to achieve a strong outcome for the community.

But I couldn't quite shake the feeling as I watched the potential $600 000 worth of gold material being carted off the mine that day, that the New Zealand taxpayer was missing out on the profits from a mineral that belongs to us all.

Oceana's profits go offshore and it seems bizarre to allow that money, when we're talking about the ever failing Government superannuation fund, to disappear.

Yes the company provides some 160 jobs (not all to New Zealanders) in the area and yes it had to put up the substantial money ($50 million) to develop the operation, but surely with a little vision the Government could have looked at a venture like this instead of say spending the cash on overseas attempts at the America's Cup.

It just doesn't seem right...

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