Press release: Coal Action Network Aotearoa

Friday 13 May

For Immediate Use

Coal Action Network Aotearoa has slammed Solid Energy for their non-notified consent applications for a pilot briquetting plant.

“We have just learnt that the Gore District Council has decided that the application may be processed non-notified. Environment Southland made a similar decision on 2 May. (1) Under the Official Information Act, we have been released documents that show Solid Energy’s lawyers convincing the councils of this course of action.

‘This is the first of many lignite consent applications we are likely to see in Southland. There are over 6 billion tonnes of lignite in Southland which Solid Energy and other massive mining companies want to extract, at great cost to local communities who will have to put up with air, noise and water pollution.

‘The Government’s Energy Strategy, which we released to the media a few weeks ago, shows that this Government is determined to push ahead with increased fossil fuel extraction, at a time when we need to be moving away from fossil fuels. If all these lignite plans go ahead they will contribute 7 to 8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. It comes as no surprise that Solid Energy are getting an easy ride through this consent process, but there are huge public interest issues at stake here.

‘This very week Dr James Hansen, top NASA climate scientist, (2), is speaking to audiences across the country. Dr Hansen has warned, “Coal is the single greatest threat to civilization and all life on our planet.” We encourage people across the country to join the campaign against lignite mining in Southland.

“Even though the Councils have let the public down, we, and many others, will be notifying the public of what is going on in Southland and why we must stop it,’ said Ms Mountier.



Frances Mountier, Coal Action Network Spokesperson

021 175 7484

Notes 1. When a resource consent application is processed non-notified it means there is no chance for public submissions. However, if any of the parties who have been listed as ‘affected parties’ do not give approval for the application to proceed non-notified, then it will become a limited notification application. However it will not be fully notified.

2. CAN Aotearoa is not on the steering group for the Hansen tour but we are thrilled that people have an opportunity to hear from Dr Hansen. For tour details see: