Kia ora koutou,
Following on from our email yesterday, please find Part 2 of our newsletter below.
Alert: Police set to raid Te Whanau a Apanui
Rumours that the police have plans to raid Te Whanau a Apanui have been circulating today.
See, for example, http://news.tangatawhenua.com/archives/11539
This community is on the front lines of the fight for climate justice, trying to protect their ancestral waters from deep sea oil drilling.
Coal Action Network Aotearoa is deeply concerned about this rumour of raids and send our solidarity to Te Whanau a Apanui. Please do what you can to pass the word on. (Te Whanau a Apanui have put out a callout to get the word out to people about the possible raid in the hope that exposing it prevents it).
Lyttelton Port Company and the February Christchurch Earthquake
In 2009, the Lyttelton Port Company applied for consentsfor reclamation as part of an eastwards expansion to increase capacity to export coal. CAN Aotearoa is opposed to this expansion, as it will greatly increase the ability of coal mining companies to extract and export West Coast coal. The consent application is yet to be heard, but in the weeks following the earthquake it emerged that the Port Company had been dumping ‘rubble’ from Christchurch into the harbour. The national controller had given permission for the Port to dump rubble from the Port Hills that was impinging the operation of the Port but not from the city. Read more: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/4839894/Stop-rubble-fill-work-port-ordered
Trans-Pacific Partnership, Climate Change, and Upcoming NZ Not for Sale meetings
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), now in secret negotiations, is a proposed ‘Free Trade Agreement’ (FTA) that extends the existing agreement between Chile, Singapore, Brunei and New Zealand, adding the USA, Australia, Peru, Malaysia and Vietnam. The TPP would give special privileges to foreign investors (mostly global corporations) by limiting certain types of laws and government practices which elected parliaments might otherwise enact in the interests of their people.
For example, the TPP contains ‘investor rights’ provisions, whereby companies from the signatory countries can sue the governments of those counties if the companies feel that they are the victim of ‘expropriation’ or ‘discrimination.’ Under NAFTA (a similar, and notorious, free trade agreement), governments have paid US$326 million in compensation to investors, who sued over the rejection of a toxic waste dump, a health levy on tobacco, plain packaging of cigarettes, a ban on gasoline additives and much more.
In another example, any Chinese investor that invests in Southland lignite can claim a legitimate expectation that the Emission Trading Scheme rules (and subsidies) will continue unless the government points out the possibility of change – and that’s under the current free trade regime. So we can only expect it would get worse.
The TPP is a way for big capital to get around environmental and labour laws to increase their profits, at our expense.
Murray Horton’s NZ Not for Sale speaking tour
Murray Horton from NZ Not for Sale + Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa is about to embark on a South Island speaking tour. (He has just done the North Island). His talk covers a range of issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, privatisation of public assets (and we know Solid Energy is on this list), transnational corporate takeover of NZ and how people can fight back – all topics of great interest to the CAN Aotearoa organising group, and, we hope, you too.
Meeting schedule here: http://cafcatour.blogspot.com/
Thursday May 12th, 12 noon, Burns 1 Lecture Theatre, Otago University
Second meeting, 7pm, Alexander MacMillan Room, Community House, Lower Moray Place
Monday May 30th, 7pm, Wesley Centre Lounge, 3 Henry St.
Tuesday May 31st, 7:30pm, Victory Community Centre, Totara St
Wednesday June 1st, 7:30pm, Senior Citizens Hall, 94 Commercial St
Check inspectors in mines
The Labour History Project Newsletter 51, April 2011, includes an article on ‘Workplace Health and Safety laws in New Zealand: for whose benefit? ‘ by Ross Wilson (pp. 6-11). He writes, ‘[In] the mining industry…, from the passing of the 1908 Coal Mines Act until 1993, workers had the right to elect their own “check inspectors” who undertook mine inspections.’ This was lost in the 1992 Health and Safety in Employment Act.
Wilson continues, ‘Overall, the Government policy reflected in the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 was an almost total rejection of the participatory approach promoted by the CTU, and an almost complete adoption of the Employers’ Federation “the employer knows best” agenda. In effect, our legislation was like a two-legged stool. The employers had a clear general duty, and the inspectorate had a clear enforcement role, but employees and their unions were denied the statutory role which has been such an important feature of the modern European and Australian models.’
CAN Aotearoa supports the call for a return of check inspectors, following the tragic loss of workers’ lives at Pike River.
The Labour History Project Newsletter is well worth a read when it goes up online at: http://www.lhp.org.nz/LHP/Newsletters.html
Coal Action Network Aotearoa bank account
We’ve just opened a bank account, so if you want to donate towards our work, you can do so:
Coal Action Network
38 9011 0484435 00
At this stage our expenses are mostly printing and venue hire. But as we gear up, so will our costs. Many thanks!
for the Coal Action Network Aotearoa
Coal Action Network Aotearoa (CAN Aotearoa) is a group of climate justice campaigners committed to fighting the continuation of coal mining in Aotearoa New Zealand.
CAN Aotearoa’s objectives are to:
1. Phase out coal mining and coal usage within 20 years, initially by opposing new and expanded coal mines.
2. Promote a cultural change so that mining and using coal are unacceptable.
3. Work towards a society where people and the environment are not exploited for profit.
4. Be part of a just transition to a coal-free Aotearoa New Zealand.
Or join the CAN Aotearoa supporters list by emailing: coalactionnetwork[at]gmail.com