This is what Key said on the issue in February:
The Government will shortly be releasing a discussion document for public consultation on potential changes to Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act. Schedule 4 is the part of the Crown Minerals Act which prohibits mining or prospecting on specified areas of Crown land.
The discussion document will recommend that some areas of Crown land be removed from Schedule 4 and in addition that some areas currently not in Schedule 4 be added to it.Bill English stood by Key's statement in Parliament in March.
Notwithstanding the public consultation process, it is my expectation that the Government will act on at least some of these recommendations and make significant changes to Schedule 4. This is because new mining on Crown land has the potential to increase economic growth and create jobs.
I read this to mean: "There's a discussion document out on mining, and we'll consult on the issue, but notwithstanding that consultation we're still going to allow some mining on Schedule 4 land."
How is this not a humiliating backdown? Have I missed something?