Author: tjonescan

Sign The Petition: Stop Te Kuha Coalmine

Sign the petition here: Read our press release:   The Buller District Council has just granted resource consent for Te Kuha mine, a 109 hectare opencast coal mine on the West Coast, but the government has yet to decide whether to allow the miners to take the top off the mountain – the 12 hectares that are part of the Mt Rochfort Conservation Park. The Department of Conservation has stated that this area is “recognised as nationally and internationally unique and for having very high ecological and conservation value.” It contains Great Spotted Kiwi and other rare and endangered species and plants. At a time when our government is claiming that climate change is our generation’s “nuclear-free moment,”  and has recently said that there will be no new coal mines on conservation land, it must say no to this mountaintop removal.  Without access to this precious DOC land, the mine is unlikely to go ahead. Hon Dr Megan Woods (Minister of Energy and Resources) and Hon Eugenie Sage (Minister of Conservation), have the power to stop this mine. Call on Megan Woods and Eugenie Sage to live up to their words, and pull the plug on this dirty and short-sighted project. Sign the petition here:...

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Press release: Te Kuha is first conservation test of new Government – Coal Action Network Aotearoa

The first test of whether there has been a real change in conservation policy will be the government’s decision on whether to allow a coal mining company to remove the mountaintop in a West Coast Conservation park, Coal Action Network Aotearoa said today. The Buller District Council has given the green light for the Te Kuha mine – a 109ha mine in the West Coast Water Conservation area  above Westport. The top 12ha of the mine – the top of the mountain – is in the Department of Conservation’s Mt Rochfort Conservation Area and, in DOC’s own words:  is “recognised as nationally and internationally unique and for having very high ecological and conservation value.” “Earlier this month Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage signalled there would be no new mines on conservation land,” said Rosemary Penwarden of CANA. “This is now her test: will she allow a coal miner to take the top off a mountain, in an area that contains the endangered Great Spotted Kiwi?  Or will she all coal mining to go ahead, wiping out crucial biodiversity for coal that, ultimately, will end up in the atmosphere causing climate change?” All indications are that the best coal for the proposed mine is at the top of the mountain.  The mining scar would be able to be seen from downtown Westport (see image from DOC below), and from the road through the Buller...

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Fonterra pledges 13 more years of new coal boilers

14 November 2017 Coal Action Network (CANA) has awarded Fonterra half a tick for at least acknowledging the importance of reducing its huge coal use but describes its programme as “hardly ambitious”. Spokesperson Jeanette Fitzsimons said today “CANA has been calling on Fonterra for several years to quit coal, including in several high level meetings. It’s about time they listened and took action.” Fonterra is the second largest user of coal in New Zealand, and its coal use to dehydrate milk has been growing fast. “Today’s announcement of no new coal boilers after 2030 is disappointingly  unambitious” said Ms Fitzsimons....

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The emperor’s new economics: how neoliberalism lets coal miners get away with making wild, unsupported claims about economic benefits

by Jane Young ‘Neoliberalism’ is one of those terms rarely used in a complimentary sense. In fact being described as a ‘neoliberalist’ tends to imply that your moral standing is only marginally above that of someone who steals from widows and orphans. Neoliberalism took a chokehold on New Zealand economic policy back in the 1980s and 90s, but does the emperor really have any clothes? A central tenet of neoliberal dogma is that business should be allowed to do its own thing while the government stays out of the way. If markets don’t exist in such areas as land,...

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The Bentley Effect: How an Australian community defeated fracking

This great film about how an Australian community defeated fracking is now touring NZ – take the chance to see it at one of its South Island screenings!  Synopsis When the coal seam gas industry staked a claim on the Northern Rivers shire of Australia, alarm bells rang out. A critical mass of people from all walks of life – farmers, landowners, mums, dads, activists, scientists – organised themselves to rally against the unconventional gas invasion. Despite the enormous public opposition, the gas industry and the State Government were determined to see their gas plan through. A series of dramatic...

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