Category Archives: Auckland

It’s Time To Break Free From Fossil Fuels

From May 4-16, 2016, a global wave of mass actions will target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects — to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground and accelerate the just transition to 100% renewable energy.


In Aotearoa, there will be actions in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. All of the actions will adhere to a strictly non-violent kaupapa and will be accessible for all with different levels of involvement available.

When it comes to the future of our planet, it’s fossil fuels or us. So we encourage everyone who can to get involved in these actions. You can sign up for actions here: and you can also join each action on Facebook:


Join The People’s Climate March

What are you planning to do on Saturday November 28th? Got any plans?

You could be part of the global People’s Climate March. In over 160 cities around the world (London, Hong Kong, New York, Sydney to name a few), people will be marching to demand that their governments work to find solutions to the challenges posed by climate change. People, organisations and companies are working to find solutions – now we want our governments to take action to reduce carbon emissions. As world leaders gather in Paris for the climate summit we’re sending a clear message that we need more action.

This is your chance to be part of a global phenomenon and the largest climate march in New Zealand history, and in the world.


Events will take place in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, Wellington, Dunedin, Nelson, Wairarapa, Napier/Hastings, Invercargill, Rotorua, Marlborough, Ashburton, Whanganui. You can find full details at All marches will be family-friendly opportunities for anybody who cares about our planet to march with like-minded folks.

Coal Action Network has been busy working with organisations, including Caritas, the World Wildlife Fund, First Union, 350 Aotearoa, Action Station, Greenpeace, Unite, Generation Zero, the PSA, the Maritime Workers Union, the P3 Foundation, Forest and Bird, the World Wildlife Fund and Oxfam New Zealand to make this happen; Harvey is part of the Wellington organising group and Jeanette is representing CANA on the Auckland committee.

There are many more groups than the ones listed who will take part.

We’re looking for individuals who care to come and take part. If you are in Auckland, look for the black and orange CANA banner and march with us.

Sir Geoffrey Palmer said recently, “Never think that democracy doesn’t work. It does. But the citizens have to made a lot of noise!

Please come. Bring home made signs and banners and your whole family. Make your voice heard.

As Naomi Klein said in This Changes Everything, “to Change Everything, we Need Everyone”.

Fonterra Sneaks Round The Corner – Part 2

Jeanette Fitzsimons writes… Our recent post about Fonterra’s new coal mine seems to have provoked a flurry of denials from Fonterra and Solid Energy. Why so sensitive? fonterra_still_burns_coal Fonterra says their Mangatangi mine is not “on hold” but “deferred”. This is what they told residents at a meeting of the North Waikato community group some weeks ago. As there was no time frame for the deferral we interpreted this as “on hold”. Can anyone illuminate us as to the difference?

They say the mine is deferred because of delays in meeting environmental requirements, though they told the community earlier it was because of low coal prices.

We calculate the mine is now around 17 months behind schedule. It was to have produced coal this year, but not a sod has been turned. Meanwhile, Solid Energy says it is still considering (“doing work on”) whether to reopen the Kopako 1 mine in the Maramarua coalfield about 5km from the Mangatangi site. This seems to be a re-consideration.

They obtained resource consent for this in 2006 from Environment Waikato. Their website recently announced it and carried job recruitment advertisements, but these have since been removed. An announcement was also seen in the local Franklin paper, and their annual report refers to “resuming production from our Maramarua opencast mining area”.

A local resident received a notice in his letterbox in November saying the mine was going to be reopened; machinery has been moved on site and some surface earthworks done but no coal seems to have been removed yet.

We assume this was a firm proposal until the latest round of Solid Energy’s financial disasters, which may have caused a rethink. Solid Energy said in its 2014 annual report that it has renewed contracts with the two largest coal users in NZ, Genesis (which runs the Huntly power station) and NZ Steel.

In addition, it had signed a new contract for over 100,000 tpy with an un-named customer. Only Fonterra uses coal on this scale. The only alternative we can imagine is a very large new industry that nobody seems to have heard of.

While the NBR report on the latest statements from Fonterra and Solid Energy says we “claimed” Fonterra is the third largest coal user in the country, that is not open to dispute. The figures are all published year by year in MBIE’s Energy in New Zealand report (formerly Energy Data File).

Given the current world price of coal, no business in their right mind would start a new mine for export, so there must be a local customer.

Consider this:

Fonterra has only three coal-fired milk drying plants in the North Island, Waitoa, Te Awamutu and Hautapu, all in the Waikato.Together, they use roughly 120,000 tpy. They have been supplied from Fonterra’s subsidiary,

Glencoal‘s Kopako 3 mine which was scheduled to run out at the end of 2014. Fonterra now says it is due to run out in 2017. It is unclear from observation whether it is still producing some coal, but there is not much machinery there.

Mangatangi (over 100,000 tpy) was planned and scaled to replace Kopako 3 and supply those three plants. If Fonterra has a contract with Solid Energy for more than 100,000 tpy those plants cannot use Mangatangi coal as well.

Solid Energy says in its attempted rebuttal that it sells coal from Rotowaro to Fonterra for its milk drying plants. That will be how they are meeting the new contract while they decide about Kopako 1.

Rotowaro produces a little under a million tonnes a year and is also in decline but is clearly capable of supplying Fonterra’s three North Island plants without reopening Kopako 1 if Solid Energy continues to contract its operations.

Whatever they decide, it is not possible for both mines to go ahead and supply Fonterra, which was the point of our original blog. Fonterra has not commented on contracts with Solid Energy but has clearly “sneaked around the corner”.

Why does all this matter? It matters because coal is the biggest contributor world wide to climate change, and most of what is left must stay in the ground if we are to prevent climate chaos. This is the real issue – everything else is obfuscation.

Unlike NZ Steel, which has very limited options, Fonterra has a ready alternative. Wood chips from forestry residues can run boilers for heat, and in many NZ industries they do already. Fonterra has claimed for over a year now that it is actively investigating renewable fuels for its heat plant, but has made no demonstrable progress and has stopped the trials it was doing at Studholme. fonterra_use_wood_waste

Why are these two companies prevaricating and trying to confuse? What we need is some transparency and some honest communication.

Footnote: there have been media claims that Coal Action Network Aotearoa is trying to stop coal mining. It is very clear on our website that we are not – we are trying to stop new mines opening so the rest can be phased out as they deplete and miners retire, without the abrupt and deep disruptions in coal mining communities that Solid Energy has caused with its drastic and sudden layoffs.

Global Divestment Day Is Coming. Here’s How To Take Part.

Global Divestment Day spans continents and time zones. It’s being held worldwide on February 13th and 14th – and there are five New Zealand events for you to get involved in.

So what is Global Divestment Day? It’s a day organised by to increase the pressure on banks and other institutions, as well as individuals, to withdraw their investments from fossil fuel companies: the miners, drillers, frackers and their backers who are ruining our planet’s climate by their continued extraction of fossil fuels.

Our goal of coal staying in the hole:  achieved!

Let’s keep all the coal in the hole – and stop investing in companies trying to remove it

And it’s a movement that’s gaining momentum. Here in Aotearoa, thanks to the efforts of, Coal Action Network Aotearoa and other groups, we’ve seen churches, universities and local bodies divest from fossil fuels. On Valentine’s Day, let’s come together to show how much we love the planet and how little we love fossil fuels and those who seek to profit from them.

We’re aware of five events in New Zealand – each is listed on the GDD global map and on Facebook. Please note that the Dunedin event is on Friday 13 February. The other events are on Saturday 14 February:

Matauri Bay: The Big Beach Picnic, Sat 14 Feb, 10.00am, Matauri Bay, Northland. Facebook event:

Auckland: Flash Mob, Sat 14 Feb, 12 noon, Silo Park, Corner Jellicoe & Beaumont Streets, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland. Facebook event:

Hamilton: Picnics and Placards, Sat 14 Feb, 5:00 PM, Hamilton Garden Arts Festival – English Rose Garden. Facebook event:

Christchurch: Love Divestment Day, Sat 14 Feb, 1.oopm, Edmonds Garden, 365 Ferry Road. Facebook event:

Dunedin: Renewable Affair, Fri 13 Feb, 12 noon, The Octagon, Dunedin. Facebook event:

Get along and help build the pressure for worldwide divestment from fossil fuels!




A German TV Crew Reports The Mission Bay “Heads In The Sand” Event

The nationwide Heads in the Sand events on Sunday 7 December to protest the New Zealand Government’s pathetic lack of action on climate change got lots of media coverage, including on English– and Chinese-language TV stations in NZ. But this coverage of the Mission Bay, Auckland event by a German TV crew is particularly good – and features Julie Anne Genter MP, climate scientist Dr Jim Salinger, and CANA’s Jeanette Fitzsimons. Check it out!

Join The People’s Climate March, Sunday 21 Sept: Auckland and Nelson

… and if you’re in Invercargill, get along to the Spring Eco Festival!

Whatever the outcome of Saturday’s General Election, urgent action will still be needed to halt and reverse the growth in greenhouse gas emissions and sharply reduce the risk of runaway climate change.

As part of a global Day of Action on climate change organised by Avaaz, there will be a People’s Climate March on Sunday 21 September in Auckland and in Nelson. Coal Action Network Aotearoa’s Jeanette Fitzsimons will be among the speakers at the Auckland event. If you can join either of these marches, we encourage you to do so – because the challenge of climate change has to be faced by all of us, including the incoming Government.

People’s Climate March Auckland

All climate change concerned citizens are invited to meet at Britomart on Sunday 21st September at 1pm to march up Queen Street to Aotea Square where there will be inspiring speakers and performers until 4pm including Lucy Lawless, Jeanette Fitzsimons, Laura O’Connell-Rapira, Steve Abel, musician SDJ and DJ Isaac Aesili to name a few!

The march is supported by Avaaz, a 38 million member strong global online civic movement that promotes activism on many pressing issues including climate change.  Auckland’s March is the FIRST of a huge, million people strong global movement of similar marches happening in more than 88 countries around world on the same day. From the photos and footage of these marches, Avaaz will create a presentation to show the UN Climate Change Summit delegates during a 15 minute time slot at the Summit in New York City. The Auckland People’s Climate March will also make it clear to Aotearoa’s own leaders how deeply we care climate change and the impacts of climate change on our Earth.

Please join ‘The People’ on Sunday 21st September to lend your voice to help ‘close the gap between the world we have and the world most people, everywhere, want’ (Avaaz, 2014). Updates via Twitter @climatemarchAKL and please join the Facebook Event here People’s Climate March Auckland. To change everything, it takes everybody.

Please also sign the Global Avaaz Climate Petition that will also be presented to the UN Climate Summit delegates

Our Facebook Event : People’s Climate March Auckland
Our Twitter: @climatemarchAKL

People’s Climate March Nelson

Hit the Nelson streets with us, as we work with in this Historic Global Event – People’s Climate March! Fun filled family afternoon. Face paint, music and dance.

Buxton – Montgomery – Wakatu Car Parks from 12.30pm,
filtering over to Millers Acre Car Park by 1.30pm,…
leaving to begin our march to the Cathedral Steps by 2pm

We are feeding the event with a bit of symbolic drama… by turning up at the registration points, adults dressed in dark clothing and children in bold bright colours. This makes us a part of our children’s backdrop, making it far easier for them to be seen and potentially heard, as this is their climate longer than it will be ours – hopefully.In the car parks the registration areas will be recognisable by a couple of tall flags with a couple of people standing around looking for… people looking for them. Here we will have the option to be painted with a green heart, the worldwide People’s Climate March (PCM) logo

Once you have registered you will be directed towards Millers Acre Car Park, the starting point for this wonderful family event.

Contact Name: Sara Cooper
Contact Phone: 0276633094
Contact Email:
Facebook event:


Spring Eco Festival, Invercargill

Sunday, September 21, 10:00 am- 4pm

Workingmen’s Club Convention room
154 Esk St, Invercargill, 9810, New Zealand

Join in Festival – with emphasis on sustainability at home, reducing energy use, vegetable gardening, energy efficiency. Sign the petition as part of International action to send to MPs, wear a green heart on your sleeve to say you love the earth.Young people especially requested to bring kitchen and laundry labour saving gadgets their granny used to use to show how we can reduce electricity use and conserve energy- so reducing impact on climate change. They can dress in period costume to add to the atmosphere and talk about their gadget to whole audience between 11am and midday.

Event signup link:

Auckland Diocese of Anglican Church Becomes First New Zealand Institution To Divest From Fossil Fuels

UPDATE: Following decisions to divest from fossil fuels by the Auckland and Waiapu Dioceses, the following dioceses have  divestment motions coming up for consideration:

  • Wellington (21-22 Sept) – STOP PRESS: Wellington has also voted to divest
  • Dunedin (27 Sept)
  • Waikato and Taranaki (28-29 Sept)

Main Story

In a major boost for the growing fossil fuels divestment campaign, the Auckland Diocese of the Anglican Church has become the first New Zealand institution to decide to divest from fossil fuels.

As reported by the Anglican Communion News Service:

the Diocesan Synod voted overwhelmingly to support a motion calling on the diocese to withdraw its investments from companies whose main business is the extraction and/or production of fossil fuels.

The divestment motion was co-sponsored by Revd Mathew Newton of St Paul Symond’s Street and the Diocesan Climate Change Action Group. It asks the diocese to sell off any remaining fossil fuel holdings within 2 years.

Similar motions calling for fossil fuel divestment are being put to other Anglican dioceses during the next few weeks, and the Waiapu Diocese has subsequently passed a divestment motion. Matheson Russell, who initiated this process within the Church, has written about it for the Anglican Church publication Taonga

Here are three excellent videos on the issues to watch and share:

CANA welcomes this important first step in getting New Zealand institutions to divestfrom fossil fuels. We hope that other Anglican dioceses, other churches and faith groups, and other New Zealand institutions make the same decision. Work is already going on both in front of and behind the scenes to put pressure on other institutions todivest, and we expect this announcement to be the first of many.

To get involved in other fossil fuel divestment campaigns in Aotearoa/NZ, check out’s Go Fossil Free page: