The World’s Most Expensive Escargot?

ACT MP Heather Roy, puts things in perspective.


Yesterday, Conservation Minister Chris Carter approved the relocation of 250 Powelliphanta Augustus snails to a new home, so that Solid Energy can develop a coal mine on the West Coast.

Moving the endangered snails – by hand – will cost Solid Energy $120,000 per snail. There’s no guarantee how many (if any) will survive. It’s a prime example of why the RMA makes developing natural resources so difficult.

Because Solid Energy is a State Owned Enterprise, the $30 million cost of moving the snails comes out of the dividend government would normally receive. To put that cost in perspective, it’s 30 years of Plunketline, 2307 hip replacements, (or a bag of Blitzem for every Kiwi)!

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