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Cypress mine shows shortsighted 'dig-it-up' attit

27 May 2005

Cypress mine shows shortsighted 'dig-it-up' attitude

The Cypress coalmine is an example of the shortsighted 'if it is there, dig it up, cut it down and catch it quick' mentality, says Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.

She was commenting after the Environment Court gave the mine near Westport the go-ahead yesterday.

"The Cypress mine is a classic example of the choice facing New Zealanders about the sort of country we want to live in," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"The unique eco-system at Cypress is there because of the coal beneath it, the highly acidic soil is the basis of the unique eco-system.

"What do we want, one-of-a-kind-in-the-world ecology or a pile of cash and a heated-up atmosphere from selling coal to Japan?

"Cypress may be faraway and out-of-mind for most New Zealanders, but if this 'if-it-pays, dig-it-up' attitude keeps going, only a few pockets of 'Clean, Green New Zealand' will soon be left.

"This mine may make jobs now, but the Environment Court's decision and state-owned Solid Energy's determination to push ahead with this sort of export-driven destruction will mean that the grandchildren of today's Coasters will be living in a wasteland.

"Compare that with the permanent jobs, sustainable economy and low environmental impact of the renewable energy technologies advocated by the Greens," said Ms Fitzsimons.

ENDS

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