The Ground Between

The Ground Between

Navigating the Oil and Mining Debate in New Zealand

There is a deep dysfunction in the way we talk about oil and mining.

Battles over oil and mining developments in New Zealand are fierce and polarised. Often presented as a simple trade-off between conservation or quick profit, the debate leaves little space for discussion across ideological divides.

The Ground Between provides a rare account from someone who has worked within this contested arena. Drawing on his experience with local and international mining companies, governments and NGOs, Sefton Darby reflects frankly on the state of resource extraction in New Zealand. Seeking to reset the debate within a global context, this book is ultimately about how we – as a country – make decisions around contentious issues.

What are BWB Texts?

BWB Texts are short books on big subjects by great New Zealand writers. Spanning contemporary issues, history and memoir, new BWB Texts are released regularly, and the series now amounts to well over fifty works.

All recently published BWB Texts can be purchased in print and digital formats using the ‘Buy’ or ‘Preorder’ buttons on this page. You can also subscribe to the series – a great gift idea! Find more information about subscription offers here.

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Print publication:
Ebook publication: Nov 2017
Pages: 200
RRP: $14.99
ISBN: 9780947518400
DOI: 10.7810/9780947518400

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'The oil and mining sectors and their adversaries', The AM Show, 5 April 2018.

'The future of mining and oil', Q&A, TVNZ, 19 November 2017.

'Sef Darby - The Ground Between', Saturday Morning, RNZ, 18 November 2017.

'Do drilling and digging have a future, or are NZ’s mining days over forever?', Sefton Darby, The Spinoff, 15 November 2017.

'Oil on the fire: How the oil and mining debate turned into a slagging match', Rob Stock,, 11 November 2017.