Opening up the conservation estate to mining interests could put New Zealand’s 20.1 billion NZ dollars (13.8 billion US dollars) tourism industry at risk, the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) warned on Friday.

Our take: While it is too easy to say "Drop out mining, stick with tourism", and we are of course favouring keeping New Zealand's landscapes unspoilt, we recognize it as a bigger problem, and something for all of us to think. Mining, driven by demand for new things, is important. As long as we need more things, the more natural resources should be excavated, in one place or another. How can we choose, which landscape is ok to spoil, and which not? Do we have any ethical right to speak about this? Maybe we should rather review our consumer habits in first place and push more effort in recycling goods rather than digging for new raw materials?

Image copyright (c) John Corney