So it’s come to this:

The National-led Government’s ambition to have the mining, and separate oil and gas sector, underpin economic recovery has borne little long term gains in its past two terms.

– from mining industry magazine NZ Resources, 20 August 2014

After two terms of promoting mining, and bending over backwards to accommodate mining, and opening up conservation land and the seabed to mining, and removing legal impediments to mining – National has nothing to show for it, and the nation has nothing to show for it either, unless you count a broken-down briquetting plant in rural Southland that, at last count, employed one person.

But one thing we have learned about this National Government is that its reaction to the failure of its policies is to try even harder to force them through. So, if National is re-elected, expect further attempts to gut resource management law and other impediments to mining. Expect more grandiose claims of jobs that never materialise. And expect another three years wasted while action on climate change is desperately needed.

When even the mining industry’s own publication acknowledges that the Government’s mining policies have failed, you know the scale of failure has been epic indeed.