Monthly Archives: October 2012

Coal Action Network Aotearoa Newsletter October 2012

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If the New Zealand cricket team needs a new spinner to replace Daniel Vettori, they need look no further than mining industry lobby group Straterra. Perhaps because Solid Energy is in a tailspin and the mining industry has been coming under challenge all around the country in recent months, they have chosen to highlight a survey carried out, in somewhat mysterious circumstances, by Pauline Colmar, formerly of survey firm Colmar Brunton, which purports to show strong public support for mining.

However, on closer inspection, the survey was worded along these lines:

Survey company: Would you swim with sharks – if sharks didn’t bite?
Lots of respondents: Yes
Survey customer press release: “Majority of New Zealanders say they love swimming with sharks”
(notice the lack of options here for a respondent to say “hang on, but sharks DO bite”).

There’s more on that survey below. We have also more on Solid Energy’s troubles and their future plans; more on the forthcoming Powershift conference in December and 2013 Summer Festival in January; and the latest news on Denniston legal action.

Check out our international section that discusses the links between climate change and the horrific “Superstorm Sandy” in the US this week. Our thoughts are with the families of the people who died,  from the Caribbean to the US and Canada, and with those suffering in the devastation Sandy left in its wake. Continue reading

The truth about Bathurst’s problems at Denniston: a West Coast local speaks out.

The beauty of the Denniston Plateau. Photo: Forest & Bird

As the appeal begins today in the Environment Court against Bathurst Resources’ consent to mine the beautiful Denniston Plateau,  we received a copy (via Russel Norman’s facebook page) of a beautifully written letter from West Coaster Jane

Orchard to the NZ Herald’s energy reporter Grant Bradley.

Jane wasn’t at all sure that the NZ Herald would publish her letter, so she sent it to Russel, and we felt it was well worth re-posting it on our blog.

It’s a very good reposte to the ridiculous claims by Bathurst and the Government that the company’s financial problems are down to the legal challenges against the opencast mine – claims that were repeated by Bradley with seemingly little investigation into the truth behind Bathurst’s problems.

Dear Mr Bradley

I was intrigued with an article you wrote about Bathurst in the Herald, basically touting their official line that all their problems are caused by protests about their mining activity. It is absolute rubbish and I really wish some journalist would spend some time researching what has really happened instead of just trotting out the spin from these people. Continue reading

Press release: Coal Industry poll flawed

15 October 2012—The Coal Action Network today accused the coal industry of carrying out dubious market research to give the impression that there is massive support for coal mining.

The research, done for Solid Energy and released by mining industry lobby group Straterra on Friday, included a set of questions carefully worded to produce such a positive result.

“The questions appear to be designed to produce a particularly positive set of answers that would benefit the company’s public image,” said Tim Jones of Coal Action Network Aotearoa.  “And we all know how much Solid Energy’s public image could do with a boost.” Continue reading

September Newsletter

Coal Action Network Aotearoa Newsletter Sept 2012

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Well, as your newsletter editor, I can officially say that I’m tired out. There are fifteen – count ‘em – separate items in this newsletter, and a number of those have sub-items.

There’s good news:

  • We announce a major new information resource on coal mines and coal projects in Aotearoa: the New Zealand section of Coal Swarm.
  • The legal system, in the form of the High Court, finally does something good on climate change.
  • The country’s alive with action: an occupation in Wellington, a protest in Auckland, stalls and conferences and meetings up and down the country, and two big events to look forward to: Powershift 2012 in December and the 2013 Summerfest in January.

And there’s bad news:

  • Solid Energy still wants to build a lignite-to-urea plant in Southland.
  • Steven Joyce is a fool, and what’s more, a fool who doesn’t understand the concept of ‘subjudice’.
  • Fonterra is planning a new coal mine near Auckland.

Most of all, there’s lots of news. And you’ll find it below.

Tim Jones
Coal Action Network Aotearoa

1. Coming Events
2. Coal Swarm: A New Resource on the New Zealand Coal Industry
3. Solid Energy Sheds Crocodile Tears, Steven Joyce Foams At The Mouth
4. High Court Throws Out Attempt To Discredit NIWA
5. The New Zealand Petroleum Summit: “Are You Ladies Here For The Summit?”
6. Summerfest 2013 Is On! 18-21 January 2013, Dolamore Park, near Gore
7. Powershift 2012: 7-9 December 2012, Auckland
8. Fonterra Is Planning A New Coal Mine Near Auckland
9. Taking A Stand On Otago University’s “Dirty Little Secret”: Lignite-Fired Boilers
10. We Don’t Allow Tobacco Sponsorship. Why Do We Allow Coal Sponsorship?
11. Regional Reports: Southland, Dunedin, Top of the South, Wellington
12. International News
13. Social Media Rivalry: Facebook Takes The Lead
14. Our Blog And Website
15. How To Donate To CANA

Continue reading