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Pike River Move Step In The Right Direction

Pike River Move Step In The Right Direction

While it is pleasing that Westland's Pike River coalfield has received a favourable response to its resource consents, the developers still face major obstacles, ACT New Zealand Energy Spokesman Ken Shirley said today.

"Under the RMA, dissenting parties can appeal last week's decision within 15 days, and it must be noted that Forest and Bird has vowed to prevent this project from proceeding.

"Perhaps the biggest obstacle is coming from the Department of Conservation, whose approval is required for access across a small area of DoC land. DoC is renowned for protracted delays, and it seems they can never be satisfied, always requesting more scientific reports and new surveys from project developers.

"I am calling on the Minister of Conservation to intervene to ensure the necessary access is granted.

"The Pike River coalfield is known to contain large volumes of top-grade coal worth many millions of dollars, and dozens of jobs on the West Coast.

"New Zealand has turned its back on our coal reserves over recent years, which is best illustrated by the decision of Genesis to import 600,000 kilograms of Indonesian coal to fuel the Huntly power station," Mr Shirley said.

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