Like most of New Zealand’s intellectual haute monde I take time out on Tuesday nights to watch Rock of Love Bus, the reality TV show in which ex-Poison lead singer Brett Michaels searches for love in all the wrong places. This week the parallels with the government’s mining policy were obvious to all.
Fresh columnar jointed andesite suitable for a range of uses is exposed in both of the old quarries within the Ecological Area. . . . Using a nominal value of $10 per tonne, a rock resource with a total potential value of several tens of millions of dollars could exist here, though realisation of any value would depend on a market being available for it. At present supplies from other sources appear to be satisfying local demand, but this good quality resource is an accessible potential source of supply for the future.
So why would we want to dig up a protected area for it? There’s plenty in less valuable parts of the country. It seems like pure ecological vandalism, driven by anti-environmentalist spite.
I think this is about over-optimism rather than spite. Just as in Rock of Love, Brett was taken in by Ashley, the hot blonde with the largest fake breasts of all the contestants, the government has been beguiled by the mining industry estimates. They want to believe that there are hundreds of billions of dollars in minerals just lying around waiting to be picked up and that doing so will effortlessly transform our economy. That’s why Brett fucked Ashley in his tour bus, even though the audience knows that she’s a spiteful back-stabbing power-vomiting alcoholic who ‘used to do donkey shows in Tijuana’.
But – unlike the National government – Brett knows that appearances can be deceiving. That’s why after spending the night with Ashley he went to the back of his limo with the three skanks he picked up at the Hustler club and made out with them. Obviously in this analogy the Hustler skanks are tourism, environmental exports and the knowledge economy. Our Energy and Conservation Ministers should spend less time listening to mining lobbyists and more time watching the Rock of Love Bus girls drink tequila while playing ice-hockey, or their poll results will rupture as badly as Melissa’s implants.