Radical democrats and geographers have argued that democracy requires a vibrant contestatory politics to challenge the contemporary "post-political" conjuncture. Despite suggestions of post-political processes in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are signs of a more vibrant politics. In 2010 an environmental campaign called "2Precious2Mine" captured the national geographic imaginary. Drawing on this example, we argue that although a space was opened for a vibrant contestatory politics, its effects were paradoxical. The campaign both reinforced the hegemonic narratives of neoliberal (post)colonial Aotearoa New Zealand, and simultaneously produced moments that challenged this apparent post-politicising trajectory. While we argue that such frameworks are useful, there is a risk that without cognisance of the situated nature of politics and closure, they both lose their political and academic explanatory purchase. Post-politics becomes at risk of constructing that which it seeks to describe, while radical democracy ends up falling short of its aims.