New Zealanders prevent opening of national parks for mining, 2010
Prime minister John Key and his National Party emerged victorious in the election of 2008 against the incumbent Labour Party on promises to revive the struggling economy. In August 2009, his Energy Minister Gerard Brownlee hinted at changes to the Crown Minerals Act, which protected conservation lands from mining. His speech also included possible plans to allow mineral exploration in lands overseen by the Department of Conservation. Public interest in these proposed changes were low.