Author: tjonescan

Media Release from Auckland Coal Action: Environment Court ruling sounds death knell for climate

Environment Court ruling sounds death knell for climate All New Zealanders should be concerned that the effects of coal on climate change cannot be considered under the Resource Management Act. The just released Environment Court decision means that here is now no legislation protecting New Zealanders from dangerous coal mines like Bathurst Resources’ Escarpment Mine Project, near Denniston on the West Coast. “When it comes to climate change, our Government is failing us, our primary industry focussed economy is failing us and now our legislature is failing us,” says Auckland Coal Action spokesperson Nick Pak. The proposed mine, for six million tonnes of coal, is the thin end of Bathurst’s wedge for extracting over one hundred million tonnes of coal from the plateau. Mining coal will lead inevitably to intensified greenhouse gas emissions which increases the risk of catastrophic climate change, says Mr Pak. Besides the huge risks posed by climate change to biodiversity and landscapes globally, mining itself can have those effects locally. Prime Minister John Key announced recently that the access agreement to the Denniston Plateau would be publicly notified, then claimed afterwards that he had made a mistake. There will be no opportunity for the 50,000 Kiwis who marched up Queen Street for greater protection of conservation land to have their say over Denniston, according to Mr Pak. The defence’s counsel, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, was Minister...

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Let’s Put A Freeze on Coal Mining: Wellington, Tuesday 8 May

Let’s Put A Freeze on Coal Mining You are invited to help put a freeze on coal mining in New Zealand by attending a flash freeze in Wellington’s Midland Park on Tuesday May 8th, starting at noon. (Midland Park is on Lambton Quay between Waring Taylor Street and Johnston Street.) This event forms part of the “Say No to Coal Mining” day of the Aotearoa Is Not For Sale Hikoi. Here’s the plan: 12.00: Gather in Midland Park. Feel free to bring signs such as “Put a freeze on coal mining”, “Say no to coal mining” or “Keep the coal in the hole”. We’ll need some people to do leafletting – please come over to the stall for leaflets. We’ll also be aiming to sign up people to the Coal Action Network Aotearoa mailing list, and Forest and Bird representatives will also be taking part, focusing on the campaign against the planned Denniston coalmine. 12.15: Spread out! 12:20: Listen for the mighty blast on a saxophone that signals the start of the Freeze. Then, freeze for three minutes. The leafletters will keep moving, explaining to people that we are frozen as a call to Government to put a freeze on coal mining in New Zealand. After three minutes the trombone will play again, signalling that it is time to start moving. After that, we’ll all spread out, leaflet, and...

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Coal Action Murihiku Launches On Anzac Day at ArtSouth Gallery In Gore

Southland anti-coal action group Coal Action Murihiku is having its official launch this Wednesday, 25 April (Anzac Day) at ArtSouth Gallery, 105 Main St, Gore, starting at 6.30pm. All are welcome, but please RSVP by phoning John Purey-Cust phone 03 208 5200 or emailing jennycam@xtra.co.nz This launch takes place in connection with ArtSouth Gallery’s 60 Year Retrospective Exhibition of distinguished Southland artist Wallace Keown: http://www.artsouth.co.nz/News_1.cfm?NewsID=24&originn=News The launch will be a unique opportunity to hear this Southland artist’s story and passions about what has driven him to produce so many significant works over a life time. ArtSouth will highlight Wallace Keown’s exhibition with a talk by Wallace about his different styles including some of his protest works such as ‘Mataura Billboard-How Green was my Valley’ painted in 1981- in the Muldoon Think Big era. “Mix and mingle with wine and cheese”. This launch is an important event for Southland anti-coal activists and the movement nationwide. If you live in Southland, we hope you’ll be able to make it, and if you have concerned friends who live in Southland, please let them know about this...

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Denniston Public Meeting To Be Held In Dunedin, Thursday 26 April

Forest and Bird, with Students for Environmental Action and Coal Action Network Aotearoa are organizing a public meeting to expose the issues surrounding proposals to mine public conservation land on the Denniston Plateau.  The meeting will be held on Thursday 26 April in Castle One, Otago University at 7:30.  It is co-sponsored by the Otago Botanical Society and the Entomological Society. The conservation groups say that the distinctive plateau with its strange rock formations and suite of specialized plants and animals should be protected and the coal left in the ground to help meet New Zealand’s climate protection commitments. Photographer Rod Morris will show off Denniston’s secretive creatures and spectacular geckos and landscapes, and eminent botanist Sir Alan Mark will tell tussock and other tales about the Denniston’s distinctive plant diversity. Denniston’s lichens will be exposed by Otago University Student Lars Ludwig. Coal Action Network Aotearoa representative Tarsh Turner will discuss the climate change implications of turning Denniston into New Zealand’s largest open cast coal mine. Australian owned Bathurst Resources has applied to open cast mine and destroy 200ha of public conservation land on the Denniston Plateau and has permits across the plateau which would dig up more than 50 million tonnes of coal. Tarsh Turner said ‘Mining the Denniston Plateau will significantly increase New Zealand’s coal exports, at a time when we need to be transitioning away from...

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Do You Want Mining Companies To Have Easier Access To Your Land?

The Government is currently reviewing the Crown Minerals Act 1991, and submissions on the review close on Friday 20 April. We think it’s a good idea for as many people as possible to submit on this review – so, if making submissions is your thing, this is a good thing to submit on. Why? Well, to address the headline issue first, there have been suggestions that the Government plans to use this review to water down or even remove the provisions in the Crown Minerals Act that currently give private landowners the right to refuse mining companies access to their land. We think this might be quite an unpopular change, not least with farmers. But there are other, wider matters worth commenting on, as outlined in the excellent submission guide on the Green Party blog at http://www.greens.org.nz/takeaction/submissionguides/review-crown-minerals-act-1991-regime – the following bullet points come from the Green Party submission guide: Currently the Crown Minerals Act allows the Government to grant permits for deep sea oil drilling. We suggest amending the Crown Minerals Act to prohibit permits for prospecting, exploration and production of oil in waters greater than 200 metres deep. Deep sea oil drilling is too risky. Under the Crown Minerals Act, the Government grants permits for oil and gas exploration that allow companies to use the controversial practice of fracking – pumping water, sand and chemicals at high pressure deep into...

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