Debate on merits of mining attracts 200

About 200 people attended a debate at the University of Otago in Dunedin last night on the merits of mining.

Organised by the Otago University Debating Society, the debate had Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei, Dunedin North Labour candidate David Clark, and university debater Hana Cadzow on the "green team", while mining lobby group Straterra's chief executive Chris Baker, Prof Dave Craw and university debater Paul Hunt spoke in favour of mining.

Both sides agreed some mining was necessary, in the at-times lively debate in which members of the audience were encouraged to take part.

Where the teams differed was over whether mining should only be encouraged if the raw materials were used for "green technology", the merits of mining Southland lignite and offshore oil drilling, mining's environmental impact, and how much wealth it created.