Gerry Brownlee has announced a new mining plan that he believes will overcome objections by environmentalists.
The plan involves building a fleet of high-speed spaceships that will travel faster than the speed of light. An initial wave of scout ships will hunt for mineral-rich planets and asteroids. Once they have identified a target the main space fleet will be launched, and will establish a mining base on the land mass in question.
The Minister of Energy and Resources told journalists yesterday that the plan was an ambitious one, but said it avoided all of the sensitive issues around the mining of Conservation land.
“I firmly believe this plan overcomes all the objections raised by various interest groups,” Brownlee said. “These planets will be dead, barren wastelands, and we will be able to extract as many minerals as we please without regard to the destruction caused.”
But Brownlee’s plans have been scorned by environmentalists.
“This is just the craziest thing we’ve heard yet from Brownlee”, said Citizens Opposed to Drilling spokesperson Barry McMammary.
“It is environmental destruction on an epic scale. We will rip these untouched landscapes up without any regard for their preservation. It’s pure vandalism. How will we explain our actions to our grandchildren?”
But Brownlee last night dismissed criticisms of the proposal.
“I’m talking about dull lifeless worlds where nobody wants to go. Why would we want to preserve them. Who for?
“These places are the planetary equivalents of Huntly.”
John Key, speaking from Vanuatu, said the plan would also help New Zealand close the income gap with Australia by 2025.
“I am confident that this plan will put us well ahead of Australia. They have a limited amount of resources, while we will have the entire universe at out fingertips.
“Look, there’s a lot of work to be done yet. We need to develop an industrial and technical capability to research and develop new forms of travel, recruit hundreds of the brightest scientists and engineers on the planet to make a number of enormous scientific breakthroughs, identify and develop new types of fuel, work out how to overcome a staggering number of challenges with working over huge distances in zero gravity situations, build a fleet of spaceships, actually find these planets, build complexes and machines to extract the minerals, work out an efficient way to get them back to New Zealand, and somehow find the trillions of dollars necessary to fund the project.
“But I’m ambitious for New Zealand. We have a can-do attitude and a number-8-wire approach to innovation.
“And I have a backup plan. We’ll also be running a parallel project to develop a time machine. If it looks like we’re going to miss the 2025 deadline I’ll hop back in time and change things. Including the deadline.”