Author: tjonescan

Coal Action Network Aotearoa Newsletter July 2012

Kia Ora Koutou As we know, the Government and the mining industry have launched a coordinated assault on New Zealand’s environment and on the land, health and water of communities and iwi around the country. A coordinated assault requires a coordinated response, and that’s what will be happening in August. First, people opposed to mining in its various guises will be gathering in Rotorua on 25-26 August for Ka Nui / Enough!, a counter-conference to the mining industry conference also happening in Rotorua. If you want to be there, email for details. One of the participants in the conference will be Drew Hutton of Australia’s Lock the Gate Alliance. If you can’t make it to Rotorua, Drew will be touring the country in late August – check out the dates below. Our campaign continues to build all around the country, and we welcome a new group, Coal Action Waikato, to our roundup of news from regional groups. Enough of introducing the news – time to let you read it! Regards Tim Jones Coal Action Network Aotearoa What’s in this newsletter? 1. Coming Events 2. Ka Nui / Enough! Conference in Rotorua, 25-26 August 3. Drew Hutton Tour: Lock the Gate! 4. Asset Sales Campaign: The Big Push for Signatures Is On 5. Thermal boilers update: EECA heat plant database and Fonterra’s very bad decision in Darfield 6. Climate Change and the...

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Saturday 14 July: Aotearoa Is Not For Sale Action Day Nationwide

So what’s happening in the campaign against state asset sales? Well, Peter Dunne may have given the Government the vote it needed to pass its Mixed Ownership Model, but there’s a long way between passing the enabling legislation and actually flogging off the nation’s silverware to foreign investors. The petition to force a Citizens’ Initiated Referendum on asset sales is rapidly gathering signatures: you can download the paper petition (that’s the one that matters!) and get involved at And there is another day of protests against asset sales coming up this Saturday. The Government may have persuaded Peter Dunne to vote in favour of asset sales, but it certainly hasn’t persuaded the country. Check out the action nearest to you this Saturday, and get involved.   Facebook page for the...

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Press Release: Investors Told To Stay Away From Coal

Coal Action Network Aotearoa has told mining investors to keep their hands off New Zealand coal. L&M Energy held its AGM in Wellington today. The company is involved in underground coal gasification and coal seam gas exploitation, while another of the companies in the L&M group, L&M Lignite, is trying to exploit the massive quantities of lignite in Eastern Southland. These companies have been actively looking to gain new investors for mining projects. Coal Action Network Aotearoa spokesperson Tim Jones said that the time is past when mining companies like those in the L&M group can go about their business unnoticed. “We know the Government supports coal mining, and doesn’t give two hoots about the terrible consequences of mining coal for our climate and the local environment. And we know mining companies like L&M are hoping to strike it lucky, with no regard for the climate, the environment or anything but lining their own pockets.” “Coal Action Network Aotearoa, and anti-coal groups all over the country, are here to tell L&M and other companies with coal projects that there are no free passes any more. If you plan to mine coal, expect trouble. And if you don’t intend to actually mine, but instead intend to deliberately start an underground coal fire and collect the resulting gases – which is what underground coal gasification means – then you might want to...

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Martha’s Mine

This fine poem is by Auckland Coal Action member Nick Pak. Martha’s Mine My aunt Martha has lived here twenty years now. They brought her here with empty promises; now life goes on bitter and ugly, a web of shattered dreams and sadness They’ve never taken away her rubbish – now twenty years of sludge sit in her backyard. Not profitable yet, she tells me as she watches the sludge shipping index to China It’s time to move on, she says. She used to have a good home, a sturdy four bedroom white painted weatherboard place, ’till Papa got too hungry and gobbled it up She’s on the benefit and her six kids have never had jobs. The employment situation here is the pits and her husband died long ago of respiratory failure With a glint of hope in her eye she tells me the kids are headed north, there are promises of work there, the nation is creating jobs for hard working Neu Zulunders. Next year I visit them in Northland. The birds have stopped singing and the rivers run with poison. I see them sitting in their rigs with eyes of shattered dreams and sadness For a visual artist’s close-up view of coal mining, check out Meliors Simms’ account of her recent visit to Stockton Mine:...

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Our Article in the Christchurch Press: Coal Mining Catastrophe

This week, CANA had a Perspective Piece in the Christchurch Press in response to a pro-coal-mining piece from Chris Baker of Straterra, the mining industry lobby group. We submitted the article as “Straterra Can’t Spin Climate Change Away”, but the Press gave it a better title: Coal Mining Catastrophe. The article is below, and also on Stuff: Coal Mining Catastrophe Chris Baker, the Chief Executive of Straterra, recently claimed [in the Press] that it was “unrealistic and irresponsible to advocate for a halt to coal mining in New Zealand”. Straterra’s spin is well-funded by its mining industry masters. But it is those who claim that New Zealand and the world can safely continue to mine and burn coal who are being unrealistic. Those who want to profit from coal mining adjust their tactics to the circumstances. In the USA, the mining companies, drillers and frackers continue to pour money into the climate change denial movement. In New Zealand, at least in public, the mining industry claims to be concerned about climate change. It just works hard to stop us taking any meaningful action on it. The world’s climate is already changing: more floods, more droughts, more tornadoes. Sea level rise has begun, and even if we stopped burning fossil fuels tomorrow, we are already committed to more. Climate change is driven by the burning of fossil fuels, and...

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