CAN Aotearoa’s public meetings last week were a great success. Over 120 attended the Dunedin meeting on Wednesday 20th (the global day of action against extraction).

You can read Dave Kennedy’s write-up on the Invercargill meeting last Tuesday here:

And here is a report from the meeting’s co-host, Jenny Campbell of Forest and Bird:

The passion, knowledge of relevant facts and calm manner, all marks of speaker Jeanette Fitzsimons, came across strongly at the Invercargill meeting organised by Southland Forest and Bird along with CANA. Nearly 40 people including a strong contingent of press personnel – newspapers and local television- 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. After Jeanette outlined her perspectives, backed up by statistics on a PowerPoint, people asked questions. These covered other 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 because of the dust containing elements such as aluminum and the effect on locals’ health, particularly children.
It was a very timely and worthwhile meeting with people being better informed, gaining some accurate statistics and information they can use when they are talking about this with others in their networks.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. After the formal meeting, informal chatting over coffee added another dimension as people were able to address their individual issues and concerns with Jeanette as well as network with others in order to support and encourage each other in what promises to be a long battle.