Opposing new and expanded coal mines is hard work, so I think it’s always good to celebrate our victories. And we have a victory to celebrate: Mokau South Resources Ltd has withdrawn all their resource consent applications for their proposed Panirau Plateau coal mine.

This project would have involved strip-mining an area of considerable ecological significance in the Mokau River catchment on the west coast of the North Island. Even by the usual standards of the coal industry, it was a particularly idiotic project and a particularly shonky resource consent application.

But we still took it seriously. CANA, working with Waikato Climate Action and Climate Justice Taranaki, made sure there were plenty of submissions against the project, ensured Waikato Regional Council took their responsibilities under the Resource Management Act seriously (in stark contrast to some other local bodies we could name), and explored some other avenues of putting pressure on the project.

The resource consent hearing suffered delay after delay, so it wasn’t a huge surprise when we got a letter late last week saying the resource consent application had been withdrawn – but a win is a win, so when we get them, let’s enjoy them!

This is also timely given the news that we are facing major new coal projects on the West Coast, backed by a spineless and clueless Government. Coal mining proposals are, at bottom, deeply stupid projects put forward by deeply stupid people. We can, we must, and we will beat them.