Use minerals, say Nelsonians

EMMA BEE
Last updated 13:00 04/12/2012

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The Government's plans to create more jobs and wealth from the country's minerals is supported by a majority of Nelsonians who took part in MP Nick Smith's annual electorate survey.

Of the 2263 respondents - the biggest response in 22 years - 75 per cent (1705) said they believed New Zealand should make greater use of its mineral resources, 20 per cent (438) opposed this and 5 per cent were undecided.

Dr Smith said this support was conditional on there being proper environmental controls, safe work practices and ensuring New Zealand, and not overseas interests, got all the economic benefit.

The results were "not carte blanch support for mining anywhere", he said.

"National Parks and Marine Reserves are clear no-go areas. It is difficult to pick up the complexities of an issue like mining in simple yes or no questions.

"It says Nelsonians supports growth in New Zealand's mineral industries if it is done in a responsible and sensible way."

The survey was distributed to 27,000 households at the end of October.

Yesterday, he joined the majority, 73 per cent, of respondents, in opposing gay marriage.

Dr Smith voted against the Marriage (definition of marriage) Amendment Bill when it was introduced to Parliament in August and sent to a select committee with a vote of 80 to 40.

He said at the time he would be guided by his constituents' views.

"I want to live in a tolerant society that respects diversity, but I am also a conservative who respects long-established traditions and institutions like marriage."

People commenting on the Nelson Mail website expressed both support and opposition to his views.

Phoebe38 said it was "such a shocking outcome from a conservative, white, upper class, National member, this just reinforces the perception of Nelson being an intolerant place".

Sparkz8 said: "I guess some people [commenting on the story] still think it's the 1930s."

JW6716 said: "There must be 1647 insecure people out there that are worried their partner is going to run away with there [sic] best mate when this law comes into effect."

Dave T congratulated Dr Smith on doing what his electorate wished him to.

Havelock194910 agreed and said the MP had made the correct decision.

"He is representing the real feelings of decent upright people who make up most of this electorate . . . to even suggest that homosexuality should be considered as ‘equal' to the sacred institution of marriage is just so totally wrong and perverse in the extreme."

Dr Smith has described past survey results as unscientific but "a good steer".

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- The Nelson Mail

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