Monthly Archives: November 2012

Summerfest 2013: The Keep The Coal In The Hole Summer Festival is on again

CANA’s Keep the Coal in the Hole Summer Festival in January 2012 was a great success. It brought people from all over the country to meet with and get to know Southland people opposed to Solid Energy’s massive plans for lignite mining in Southland. It also led to the formation of a number of regional coal action groups, including Southland’s own Coal Action Murihiku (CAM).

And now CAM, with assistance from CANA, has organised the 2013 Summerfest, with the overall theme “Shaping Our Future – We Have Options!”. See the website:

The 2012 Summerfest was held on Mike Dumbar’s farm near Mataura. The 2013 Summerfest will be held from Friday 18 January to Monday 21 January 2013 at Dolamore Park, a beautiful camping ground surrounded by bush about 10 minutes by car from Gore, very near the north-western corner of Solid Energy’s landholdings in the Mataura Valley.

You can register online for Summerfest. To do so, please read the Festival Kaupapa and then the Festival Information page, which is also where you can get started on the registration process.

On the website, you can also find information about the Festival programme and speakers – keep checking back for updates to these. We already have one international speaker confirmed: Rob McCreath from Friends of Felton in Queensland – where they stopped mining in their valley and prevented the installation of a chemical plant. He’s definitely worth hearing.

Help with posters: Coal Action Murihiku have produced 500 coloured, eye-catching posters to advertise Summerfest, for distribution around the country. If you can help put them up where you live, please email Jenny Campbell, jennycam (at), with your name, mailing address, contact phone number, and contact email address, plus the number of posters you need.

See you in Southland!

Coal Swarm: All Our Coal Industry Info In One Place

One of the calls we heard most often at the Keep the Coal in the Hole Summer Festival in January 2012 was for the creation of a website or wiki that held all our knowledge of New Zealand coal mines, planned coal projects and the coal industry in one place, so people all around the country can find out about projects that will affect them if they go ahead; mines and projects elsewhere; and about the climate, environmental, health, social and economic effects of coal mining.

Now, thanks to a great deal of hard work by many people, kicked off by Cindy Baxter and Bob Burton and then taken up by Jane Young, Jane Mountier and Jeanette Fitzsimons, such a resource has been developed to the point where, although it’s certainly not comprehensive, it is ready for use.


This new information source is a New Zealand section of the international Coal Swarm site, which is like a wiki on the coal industry from an activist perspective. At the heart of these pages are the lists of operating coal mines and of proposed coal projects – but there also pages about the major players in the coal industry, opposition to coal mining, and a number of other topics.

As you’ll soon see, the New Zealand section of Coal Swarm isn’t finished – indeed, it will never be finished, at least until we have completed the transition away from coal. Therefore, changes and additions are going to be needed. Our preference is that these changes be handled by Jane Young, who has kindly agreed to act as our Coal Swarm editor, but you also have the opportunity to make changes and additions yourself.

Requesting an addition or change to Coal Swarm

To request an edit or suggest an addition, please email Jane Young,, with “CoalSwarm” in the subject line.
Please provide the following information:

  • To request a change to existing content: please specify the web address (URL) of the page that you think should be changed, the precise change that you think should be made, and a source for the changed information.
  • To request new content: please specify in as much details as possible the new information that should be added, and supply a source (including a web address for online information) for the new information.

If you’ve found something that needs changing, please be as specific as possible about what it is: provide the web address of the page that you’re referring to, and say exactly where on the page the problem is.

Making changes or additions yourself

You can also make changes or additions yourself, once you sign up as an editor. Full details of how to do this are provided at

If you’d like to help Jane with the editing of Coal Swarm’s New Zealand pages, please email her:

I think the New Zealand section of Coal Swarm is going to be a very useful resource for both education and activism. I hope you find it useful too.

– Tim Jones