Coal Action Network Aotearoa Newsletter

October 2011

Kia ora koutou,

Welcome to the October edition of the Coal Action Network Aotearoa monthly newsletter – and a special welcome to those receiving this newsletter for the first time, as our mailing list continues to grow.

This newsletter is full of opportunities for you to get involved in the major events we have coming up over the next few months. You can help with our October anti-coal campaign in partnership with Lush stores. There are lots of ways you can help with the planning, organisation, and resources needed for our Keep The Coal In The Hole Summer Festival in January 2012. And, of course, you can keep up the letter-writing and lobbying that has already been so effective in getting our campaigns in front of politicians and the public. Plus, we have an opening right now for a blog administrator – please see item 3 below.

We are very grateful to all those who have already responded to our calls for volunteers and other requests for action, and we look forward to yet more people getting involved.

Other news in this issue includes the debut of G-Force on Moving Planet Day, 24 September, and the latest on the Denniston campaign.


Tim Jones

for Coal Action Network Aotearoa


1. Keep The Coal In The Hole Summer Festival 2012 – Latest News

2. Lush Campaign: October 17-24 – Volunteers Needed

3. Blog Administrator Needed

4. Upcoming Events

– Wellington Public Meeting on 17 October

– Climate Tour September-November 2011

5. Pilot Briquetting Plant starts construction

6. Denniston Campaign News

7. Moving Planet Day Reports

8. Southland News and Events

9. Campaigning Resources

10. CAN Aotearoa on Social Media

11. How To Donate To CAN Aotearoa

12. How Our Mailing Lists Work – Where To Post, Where Not To Post

1. Keep The Coal In The Hole Summer Festival 2012 – Latest News

Thank you to all who responded to the call-out for volunteers over the weekend to help with the Keep the Coal in the Hole Summer Festival. We welcome offers of support at any stage!

Please email us at

In case you missed the recent call-out for volunteers, here it is again:

Planning for the Keep the Coal in the Hole Summer Festival in Mataura from 20-24 January 2012 is advancing well – and now we are calling for your help. Here is your invitation to take part, and to help out:

We would like to invite you to the Keep the Coal in the Hole Summer Festival in Mataura, 20-24th January 2012, on the farm of lignite opponent Mike Dumbar, half a kilometre from the pilot briquetting plant now being built.

We are excited to be organising a four day festival to stand alongside the people of Southland and build a movement around climate justice. There will be family camping, live music, fun for the kids, big cook-ups, visits to the proposed lignite mine, workshops on strategy, information from various groups actively campaigning against coal, training in non-violent direct action, videos, and an Open Day in Mataura with speakers and discussion groups on the issues relating to lignite.

We would really love some people to join in with the organising of this festival. There are people across Aotearoa working on this extensive project for the next few months and we’d love to have more hands on deck with a range of planning and preparations for January.

Registrations will open mid October so spread the word!

Right now we need some support organising – if you can give some time or energy please email us at with “Summer Festival” in the subject line.

Support needed – before, during and post festival

Summer Festival aims to build a movement around climate justice!

If you can support the Keep The Coal In The Hole Summer Festival – please get in touch!

We need support with all of the following and more –

  • Specific tasks – If you can help out for an hour a week or, one ten hour block, there are jobs that can be done from all over Aotearoa – e.g. preparing the printed resources, creating a list of technical equipment needed and hiring it, helping with promotions in your home town.
  • Work with a team of people to get things done – we need teams of people to organise these key areas; Childcare, Food and Promotions (see details below)
  • Volunteer a few days before/after Summer Festival with set up/pack down.
  • Love being with kids? We envision Summer Festival as a child friendly environment – are you interested in supporting the creation of a timetable and space for kids? We need a team of people!
  • Grow a bit extra? Are you able to plant an extra crop of vegetables which mature in time for January? If you can’t make it to Summer Fest and want to contribute, this is an awesome way of supporting. We are asking people in the South Island (unless you can get it to Southland too) to plant extra and we’ll use the vegetables in the kitchen at camp. More offers are needed. So much better than frozen or tinned.
  • Food – we will be cooking and eating together – we are looking for a team of people to take on the role of organising the coordination of shared meals (yes, a menu), shopping lists (once we have numbers), liaising with people in Southland, setting up the kitchen, rosters and cooking. Yay for food!
  • Fundraising – we need funds in advance to buy food, set up the physical space, access technical resources, pay for the local hall hire in Mataura etc… Would you be willing to organise a fundraiser in your community to support Summer Festival? Please email If you’re thinking Summer Festival sounds like a great idea, would love to come and can’t, you could donate part of what you would have spent to get there. Our Bank account number is; Coal Action Network – Kiwibank account: 38 9011 0484435 00
  • Transport – we are encouraging shared transport from other parts of the country via a carpooling website. We also need a number of vans for shuttling people around the region – if you’re bringing a van and would be willing to lend it for these purposes – please get in touch!
  • Access to Marquees or large tents? – We are looking to borrow as many resources for this festival as possible. If you have access to large waterproof and windproof structures, we’d love to hear from you!

If you can support with any of the above, please email with details of what you can offer.

2. Lush Campaign: October 17-24 – Volunteers Needed

Can you help on a stall at a Lush store near you, on Wednesday 19th October or Saturday 22nd October?

In our last newsletter, we shared the exciting news about our October coal campaign week in partnership with Lush. Cosmetic retailer Lush ( approached us back in winter offering to host anti-coal stunts, public education and signature collection at the 11 Lush stores in New Zealand, during the week 17-24 October. After receiving really good reports from other campaigning groups Lush has worked with here and overseas, we decided to accept this generous offer.

On Wednesday the 19th and Saturday the 22nd, CANA is welcome to have volunteers in the stores, handing out fliers, explaining the issue, firing up their staff, and collecting signatures on our sign-up sheet. This would make the week even more successful, so if you are able to help, please email us on with “Lush” in the subject line, preferably by Sunday 9 October, so we can pass your email on to Lush for coordination. We will post you a name badge to identify you as a CANA volunteer.

Dates and Times needed:

11:30am-1:30pm on Wednesday 19th October.

1:00pm-2:00pm on Saturday 22nd October.

Store locations



LUSH BOTANY, Botany Shopping Centre



Mt Maunganui

LUSH BAYFAIR, Bayfair Shopping Centre

Palmerston North



LUSH OLD BANK, Lambton Quay


LUSH NELSON Hardy Street


LUSH NORTHLANDS Northlands Shopping Centre


LUSH DUNEDIN, George Street

If you can help, please do get in touch on with “Lush” in the subject line.

3. Blog Administrator Needed

Can you take on the job of updating our WordPress blog for us ( It’s not tricky but we need someone with reliable internet access and about 2 hours a week to spare. It would be ideal if you have the capacity to put some posts (e.g. press releases) up quickly once they are released, but even if you can only work on the blog at set times, we are keen to hear from you.

If you’d like to take this on, please email with “Blog Administrator” in the subject line.

4. Upcoming Events

Wellington Public Meeting on Monday 17 October

Extracting New Zealand?

Fossil fuel extraction in NZ and the campaigns to stop it

West Coast Environment Network, Greenpeace and Coal Action Network Aotearoa are pleased to announce a public meeting featuring Jeanette Fitzsimons on Southland lignite, Rod Morris on the proposed opencast coal mine on conservation land at Denniston, Mike Smith on East Coast Deep Sea oil drilling and Robyn Harris-Iles on fracking.  All these risky fossil fuel projects are going on – or are planned – for New Zealand, with all the associated costs to our communities, fragile conservation land, health, farmland, waterways, and especially to the climate.

Monday 17th October, 6-8pm

Wellington Central Baptist Church, 46-48 Boulcott St, Wellington.  (Free carparking across the road at Wilson Carpark).

Each panellist will speak for 15 minutes.  There will then be 45 minutes of questions and discussion, followed by time to check out the stalls.

Free entry, koha appreciated.  Followed by tea and coffee. All welcome.

These are the four largest fossil fuel issues on the radar in NZ at the moment.  Come along to learn more about the issues, to build links between the different groups and movements, and to highlight what work we can be doing to tackle climate change here in NZ by getting involved in these campaigns.

Groups working on fossil fuels / climate / mining / climate justice issues are most welcome to have stalls in the foyer. Please bring your own tables where possible.

For more information, please contact with “Wellington Public Meeting” in the subject line.

Climate Tour September-November 2011

Dr Jim Salinger, Professor Caroline Saunders and Rod Oram

“Maintaining farm productivity and profits in an uncertain climate”

Although this tour is not directly about coal, these three well-credentialed speakers are concentrating on reaching rural and provincial audiences with a message about the impacts of climate change on farming and farmers. There are events planned from Auckland to Invercargill, with a wide range of destinations in between.

Check out the latest version of the tour schedule here – there are plenty of events still to go:

In particular, the details of the Invercargill event on Thursday 27 October, previously tba, have now been released:

Invercargill, Thursday 27 October: 1.30 to 3.30 pm Invercargill Workingmen’s Club, 154 Esk Street, Invercargill

Contact: Michele Poole:

Please encourage your friends and relations to go to the event nearest to them.

5. Pilot Briquetting Plant starts construction

Solid Energy started work on its pilot plant to convert lignite to briquettes in September, just down the road from where the Keep the Coal in the Hole Summer Festival is being held in January. To mark the occasion, Don Elder and Bill English roped in students from local schools for a cheesy, not to mention distasteful, photo opportunity.

CAN Aotearoa’s press release in response to the start of construction on the pilot briquetting plant got good media coverage, including a mention in the Listener. You can find it on our blog here:

6. Denniston Campaign News

On Friday August 26th the Commissioners released their decision to grant consents for the Escarpment Mine on the Denniston Plateau. For all the latest news on the campaign against the Escarpment Mine, see

West Coast Environment Network (WC Ent) are fundraising for an appeal of the Resource Consent decision on the proposed opencast mine on conservation land at Denniston. In their submission, they presented a significant amount of evidence from the Department of Conservation’s technical scientists on ecological impacts of the mine, and hope to raise enough money to call these witnesses to the Environment Court.

They are aiming to raise $5000 in the next three months to aid the running of an Environment Court case. If you would like to donate, here are the details:

West Coast Environment Network Account: Kiwibank 38 9012 0009759 00 West

Coast ENT Incorporated

Action points for you to stop the Escarpment Mine Proposal from going ahead:

• Letter writing! Outline your concerns/opposition to the Minister for Conservation ( ), the West Coast Conservator (, your local MP and your local paper. If you need more information to help structure this, or need a template, get in touch. Thanks to all those who have sent letters already!

• WC Ent will alert people when DOC publicly notifies their decision. This could be in the next month. Guidance on how to submit will be available.

• If you have any spare time and energy to help beyond the above, please get in touch on

7. Moving Planet Day Reports‘s Moving Planet Day on 24 September featured a number of events with a particular focus on the campaign against new and expanded coal mines. Here are edited reports on a selection of these events:


Jenny Campbell reports:

Southlanders responded to the  G-Force rally –with grans, grandads, grey power, grumpies, great aunts, great people .. grandchildren… coming out in force to show how they felt about the lignite mining for a pilot briquette plant on Sat, 24 September, day. This tied in with the international day’s theme to ‘Move beyond Fossil fuels’. Over 40 people were involved in walking, carrying placards with relevant messages, then spent time together over a cuppa writing letters to PM John Key about their concerns. These included the impact on waterways, aquifers, agricultural land, soils, health, carbon emissions, employment, social impacts… and of course future generations with messages from grandparents a strong focus.

Making bubbles, kite making and writing messages on balloons took place inside because of the slightly cool breeze outside! A walk to Wachner Place in the centre of town with very obvious banners and placards alerted the public to the cause. This  concluded with local political candidates answering questions about their stand about the proposed lignite mining, the moral issues involved and possible changes to the Resource Management Act. Local CUE TV station did great coverage  along with local newspapers and radio.

Invercargill people and others from across Southland and further afield joined in solidarity with others around the world  to send a strong message to their Governments that mining coal and especially dirty lignite is not a sustainable or environmentally acceptable solution to energy needs.

Golden Bay

Jo-Anne Vaughan reports:

22 people met in Takaka, Golden Bay to participate in the global action on Saturday 24th of September.  Along with people around the world we marched to say that we are worried at the escalating use of fossil fuel and the rising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  We know that for climate stability to occur the current 392 parts per million of atmospheric carbon dioxide needs to be reduced to 350ppm.

We focused on the two new, proposed opencast coal mining projects which have recently been consented in New Zealand.  They are Solid Energy’s Southland lignite project (New Zealand’s equivalent to mining tar sands), where a pilot processing plant has been consented, and the Denniston Plateau opencast coal mine consented to Australian Bathhurst Resources.  We called for a 10 Year Moratorium on all New Coal Extraction in New Zealand. We each signed a petition to John Key calling for this, and left with the resolve to write to Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson calling for access to the Denniston Plateau to be denied for an open-cast mine, and to John Key, Hekia Parata (Minister of Energy) and Hon. Nick Smith (Minister for the Environment) calling for the 10-year moratorium.

We also began development of a “Moving to Renewable Energy” Creed. This is how it stands at present:


We believe that …..

  • It is this generation’s responsibility to act now.
  • The future is in renewables.
  • Action must come from ordinary people.
  • If enough people protest, the numbers will force the Government to listen.
  • There is a cumulative effect of consciousness raising.
  • The situation is too urgent for apathy.
  • It doesn’t matter where in the world the coal is burnt – its effects affect everyone.
  • Nick Smith’s argument that bigger countries need to act first is not a New Zealand attitude.  We are moral leaders.
  • Every solution was once a problem.  We have the power.

The Creed is but a beginning.  It can be added to and changed.


Jeanette Fitzsimons reports:

G-Force held its first event in Thames on Moving-Planet Day. Grandparents turned out with their grandchildren or photos of them and a banner saying “G-Force – Grandparents working for a safer planet for our Grandchildren” and “Beyond Fossil Fuels – International Day of Action on Climate Change”. We marched to the local hall for a “write-in” where we listened to two speakers – a grandparent and a grandchild, then composed letters to John Key with drawings or letters from the children enclosed. The aim was to engage him at a personal level by talking about the children and calling to his mind the grandchildren he will have one day who will ask him, “What did you do Granddad to protect the climate?”

We marched again to the post office for a mass posting – a mere 25 of us, but part of a huge movement in 175 countries and 2000 communities, telling governments we want action, now.


Marisa Maclachlan reports:

Auckland Coal Action joined the Moving Planet march in Auckland. We were a ‘highly visible’ bloc in our high-vis vests and lollipop road signs reading “stop coal” and “go renewable energy”, as we brought up the rear behind a large contingent of cyclists.

We then held a stall in Albert Park with a coal-tossing side show which invited passers-by to “keep the coal in the hole”. When the guest speaker was unable to attend, stall-holders were instead invited to address those present. This gave us the opportunity to introduce our new group and why we have chosen to focus our energies on coal.

8. Southland News and Events

A Reel Earth film festival including several focusing on mining and climate will be shown as an awareness raising event, at Centrestage Invercargill, over 10 days in mid-October, organised by Invercargill Environment Centre. It will  include the movie  ‘Home’ organised by the G-Force group.

A member of the Lower Mataura Landcare group and a farmer adjacent to the proposed mining area, Robina-Lee Johnston has been nominated for a Keith Hovell Environmental Award, organised by Gore District Council and sponsored by Solid Energy. Robina organised an open day, BBQ and  planting day with 300 native trees put in with the help of River Valley Lions Club, other locals and people from Invercargill on their property in an area  being proposed as a QE 11 Covenant site.

A stall featuring concerns around lignite mining will be run at the Invercargill Spring festival on Saturday 8 October.

There continues to be a steady stream of awareness raising letters to the Editor, Southland Times- thank you everyone for doing that.

– Jenny Campbell, CAN Aotearoa

9. Campaigning Resources

Download The New Coal Action Network Aotearoa Leaflet!

Our new 2-page A4 full-colour leaflet is now available for you to download and use. You can get it in PDF format here:

Print it, email it, circulate it to friends, take it with you on visits to MPs and political party candidates!

EnergyWatch 62

Issue 62 of the Sustainable Energy Forum’s magazine EnergyWatch focused on the lignite issue and the call for a 10-year moratorium. You can access it here:

Medical Students for Global Awareness paper – a great addition to campaign resources

The Medical Students for Global Awareness (MSGA) have produced a thorough and detailed position paper called

Lignite mining and processing in Southland New Zealand: a fossil-fuelled disaster for current and future generations

It’s hosted on the Ora Taiao website and can be downloaded at this link:

This paper gives thorough coverage to the likely health effects, and the local and national environmental effects (including greenhouse gas emissions), of lignite mining in Southland. It’s a valuable addition to our campaign resources.

10. CAN Aotearoa on Social Media

Our Facebook Group

Our Facebook group at!/home.php?sk=group_218300434877031

is now open, so you can join, and get your friends to join too.

A Facebook page we encourage you to Like is Leave the Lignite, Save the Soil:!/pages/Leave-the-Lignite-Save-the-Soil/12917904715925

@coalaction is on Twitter

If you are on Twitter, please follow our Twitter account, @coalaction, at!/coalaction. Please look out for our tweets, retweet them, and encourage your followers to follow @coalaction as well.We are starting to get some real momentum on Twitter now* – thanks to everyone who has retweeted and @replied!

*We are still some way from passing Lady Gaga’s number of Twitter followers, however.

Our Blog

Keep up with the latest news about our campaigns on the Coal Action Network Aotearoa blog:

11. How To Donate To CAN Aotearoa

As this campaign grows, our costs are beginning to increase. Thank you to all those who have donated during the past month. If you’d like to help us financially, you can donate as follows:

Coal Action Network


38 9011 0484435 00

12. How Our Mailing Lists Work – Where To Post, Where Not To Post

This Coal Action Network Aotearoa list is an announcements-only list, so CAN Aotearoa can pass on news to you without your inbox getting too cluttered.

You cannot post to this list, so here’s a special plea from your mailing list administrator:


Doing so wastes your time, because your message gets stuck in an approval queue, and our time, because we have to work out where you meant to send it and forward it there instead.

But here’s the good news:

You are welcome, and encouraged, to discuss all aspects of our work on our Lignite Campaign Discussion list. But first, you need to join that list.

To subscribe to that list, send an email to

Then, to post a message to the lignite-campaign-discuss list, email it to

Alternatively, if you’re having trouble joining the discussion list, please email with “Discussion list” in the subject line and we will add you to that list.

Membership of the lignite-campaign-discuss list is not vetted, so you should bear this in mind when choosing what to discuss on the list.

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.

Find out more at:

Or join the CAN Aotearoa supporters list by emailing: