Kia ora koutou,

We have a lot of news this month, so we have split this newsletter into two parts. Look out for Part 2 tomorrow.

If you would like to join our announcement list and receive this newsletter by mail, please email coalactionnetwork[at] with “Mailing list” in the subject line.

Now for some news:

James Hansen Visit in May

The campaign against lignite mining in Southland will get a major boost with the visit of leading climate scientist Dr James Hansen. He is visiting Aotearoa from 11-21 May and will be involved in a range of events throughout the country. Here is the tour announcement that Jeanette Fitzsimons has just sent out:

“World famous climate scientist Dr James Hansen arrives soon for a speaking tour in NZ, brought by a coalition of environmental and social justice organisations, academics and progressive business. If you’ve been puzzled about the controversies about climate change, this is your chance to get it straight. If you are already convinced and want to know what must be done, Be there. We can now bring you the schedule for public meetings in NZ. There is more detail on the facebook site!/pages/James-Hansen-NZ-Tour-May-2011/176696445713765

His public talks are called “Human-made climate change: a scientific, moral and legal issue” and he explains the latest science of climate change, how serious and urgent action has become, and why he has become an activist as well as a scientist. This could be a turning point in NZ’s awareness and in the public demand for government action. He is meeting with progressive business leaders, politicians, farmers, youth and media – I hope as many as possible of civil society will meet him too as we are the only ones who can make the difference in the end.

We are not taking out paid advertising, but relying on e-lists and word of mouth.

We are operating on a shoestring – if you would like to donate to the costs of the tour,  Oxfam is acting as banker for us. The account is 01 0202 0117805 02 Please use the reference ADCLIMATETOUR11_JHT

Schedule of public events for Dr James Hansen’s NZ Tour, May 2011

Thurs 12th May: Auckland

6pm:   public lecture University of Auckland Business School OGGB4, Level 0, Owen Glenn Bldg, 12 Grafton Rd

Fri 13th May: Palmerston North

1.30pm public lecture, Japan Room,  Massey University

Sat 14th May

8.15 am RNZ with Kim Hill

Mon 16th May: Wellington

5.45pm public lecture Rutherford House, welcomed by Mayor Celia Wade-Brown

Tues 17th May: Wellington

8.45 am – 5.30 pm IPS Symposium “Future of Coal,” Victoria University

(he will speak 10.20 to 11.30,  on panel 4pm -5.30pm). (Note: You need to register for this event by emailing ips[at]

Download programme (PDF)

Wed 18th May:  Dunedin

5.30 – 7pm public lecture, St David’s Lecture Hall

Thurs 19th May:  Gore

2 pm public meeting hosted by Mataura Landcare group , Gore District Council Bldg

Friday 20th May: Christchurch

12-1 pm Uni of Canterbury, room tbc

5.30 pm public talk hosted by Kennedy Graham, MP, venue TBC

Saturday 21st May: Auckland

12-4 pm, Auckland Town Hall, Festival for the Planet – music, talks, dance, action event especially for young people with a Pasifika flavour. Hansen speaks 2.30 pm. More at
CAN Aotearoa will have a presence at each public meeting. We’ll see you there!

Two successful “Keep the Coal in the Hole” public meetings with Jeanette Fitzsimons

Jeanette Fitzsimons spoke at “Keep The Coal In the Hole” public meetings in Invercargill on 19 April and in Dunedin on 20 April – and both meetings went very well.

Jenny Campbell reports from the Invercargill public meeting:

“Jeanette Fitzsimons’ passion, knowledge of relevant facts and calm manner came across strongly at the Invercargill meeting organised by Southland Forest and Bird along with CAN Aotearoa. Nearly 40 people including a strong press contingent came to listen, interview and report. This produced some good coverage in Southland Times and Gore’s community newspaper Newslink, along with CUE TV local news.

“People’s questions covered concerns about employment, social effects, air pollution, water pollution, loss of habitat and farming land. People from local coal mining towns talked about the health issues they are facing now. Having a series of articles in the local newspapers along with letters to the Editor is proving very helpful as people realise it is not just an issue about jobs.”
In Dunedin, about 120 people attended Jeanette’s public meeting on 20 April – the biggest audience of the four meetings we’ve held to date. There was a strong media presence, and Jeanette did plenty of interviews while she was in Dunedin. Over half those present signed up for the CAN Aotearoa supporters’ list – and that doesn’t include those who were on the list already. This was a strong finish to this phase of Jeanette’s tour, and a good lead-in to the James Hansen tour.

As Jenny says, the informal networking that happened after both meetings is just as vital, as people get together to inform and support each other in what may be a long struggle.

Solid Energy Pilot Briquetting Plant – Resource Consent Notification Status

No change! Gore District Council and Environment Southland still haven’t made a decision about whether they will notify the resource consent application for Solid Energy’s planned pilot briquetting plant. It seems that the whole process is not going quite as smoothly for Solid Energy as they had hoped…

If the application is notified, we’ll let you know what you can do to help oppose consent being granted.

20thApril Global Day of Action Against Extraction

Last Wednesday was one year on from the Gulf Oil spill, with its catastrophic and ongoing social, environmental and climatic consequences. The Global Day of Action Against Extraction was a great success with events in Taranaki, Wellington, Dunedin, Whanganui, Nelson, Auckland, the East Cape and more. In Wellington, there was an all day event at Civic Square, and a march to the Brazillian Embassy, led by Te Whanau a Apanui and Ngati Porou, against deep sea oil drilling off the East Coast. Check out the reports and photos from around the country at:
Stop Deep Sea Oil Campaign Action Alert

Act now: Iwi fishing skipper detained on navy warship

What happened on 23 April

Elvis Teddy, skipper of the Te Whanau a Apanui tribal fishing boat San Pietro, was arrested at sea and detained on a navy warship while fishing in Te Whanau a Apanui customary fishing grounds in the vicinity of the Orient Explorer, the deep sea oil survey ship ship currently conducting seismic testing in the Raukumara Basin on behalf of Brazilian oil company Petrobras. The arrest came the day after Maritime NZ withdrew the exclusion orders that police officers, assisted by the navy, issued to boats in the vicinity of the Orient Explorer last week.

To find out more, and take action to support Elvis Teddy, Te Whanau a Apanui, and the Stop Deep Sea Oil campaign, read the rest of the Action Alert on our blog at

(with thanks to Peace Movement Aotearoa:

and be sure to check out the Stop Deep Sea Oil campaign site:

CAN Aotearoa Energy Strategy Release Embarrasses Government

The Government wasn’t quite ready to release its poor excuse for a New Zealand Energy Strategy, so we saved them the trouble by doing it for them. You can see the story, and the strategy, on our blog at

Our release, and the Government’s subsequent reaction to both the release itself and the criticism it received over the document’s emphasis on mining and exploiting fossil fuels with regards for the climate change consequences, was widely covered. Here is a sampling of the stories:

And that’s Part 1 of the newsletter. Part 2 is coming soon!
Tim Jones
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[dot]com