Press release
Saturday 27th August 2011

Coal Action Network Aotearoa has condemned the consent for a Denniston opencast coal mine on conservation land and instead called for people to demand we ‘Keep the Coal in the Hole.’

“Burning coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel activity on the planet and there are huge reserves of coal left worldwide. If we allow them to be burnt, we have no chance of avoiding a climate catastrophe. We need to keep the coal in the hole,” said Frances Mountier, spokesperson for the Coal Action Network Aotearoa. The first step is to stop any new or expanded coal mines in New Zealand, and that means the Denniston opencast coal mine, while consented today, must not go ahead.

“To be opening a new coal mine in this day and age is unbelievable. Bathurst’s proposed mine would increase New Zealand’s coal exports by up to 62%.

“We call on people across the country to join the campaign to Keep the Coal in the Hole. This mine would destroy 200 hectares of a nationally significant ecosystem – when just last year, people across the country clearly said NO to mining on conservation land,” said Ms Mountier.

Coal Action Network Aotearoa is a group of climate justice campaigners committed to fighting the continuation of coal mining in Aotearoa New Zealand. They submitted against the proposed mine at Denniston.

‘The Commissioners stated in their report: ‘We are of the view that legislative restrictions provide us with no jurisdiction to consider ‘climate change’ in the general sense.’ We believe that climate change should be at the forefront of all discussions around coal mining. We have a responsibility to future generations to leave them a planet with a stable climate, and with conservation areas intact. We will support the groups taking ongoing legal and protest action against this mine, and we will be encouraging the 1000 people receiving our monthly digest on coal to do so too,’ said Ms Mountier.


Frances Mountier, Coal Action Network Aotearoa Spokesperson
021 175 7484

The area Bathurst wish to mine falls within the proposed ‘Denniston Reserve.’ Forest and Bird recently launched a campaign for a Reserve that would offer long overdue protection for upland coal measure ecosystems.

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. Work towards a socially just transition to a coal-free Aotearoa New Zealand.

Find out more at:
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