The government wants a "conversation" with New Zealanders about mining and mineral exploration but opposition parties are worried it's going to be a one-sided discussion.
An advisory panel report released at the weekend says there's insufficient public understanding about balancing mineral exploitation against environmental protection.
Labour and the Greens agree on that but they don't trust ministers to play on a level field.
"We should have a conversation about this but it can't be just government propaganda," Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said on Monday.
"And the mining industry has already made it clear that it's on a public relations campaign."
Environment Minister Nick Smith says New Zealand can't afford a "no go" attitude to mining and mineral exploration.
"The government's position is that we need to do those but in a way that's consistent with our clean, green brand," he said on Radio New Zealand.
"The government needs a wider discussion with New Zealanders about those benefits."Labour says the government isn't taking environmental concerns seriously.
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