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Snails' extinction lies in hands of ministers

16 December 2005

Snails' extinction lies in hands of ministers

The threatened giant land snail may be one step further away from extinction thanks to the tenacity of Forest and Bird and the commonsense of a High Court judge, the Green Party says.

Conservation Spokesperson Metiria Turei today congratulated the environmental group for winning its landmark High Court case against State Owned Enterprise Solid Energy, and thanked the judge for his reasoned decision.

The ruling means that Solid Energy will now need to seek permission from the Conservation and Energy Ministers before it can go ahead with its plans to dig up Mt Augustus - the snail's only habitat - to make way for a coal mine.

The company plans to relocate some snails to a nearby location, leaving the remaining ones to be crushed by the excavators.

"This appalling plan could result in the extinction of the snails, and all for, in the scheme of things, amounts to just a few hand-fulls of coal.

"The fate of the snails' now lies in the hands of those ministers and, I believe that as Conservation Minister, Chris Carter has an obligation to do all that he can to protect them from the hands of Solid Energy.

"Given that these are a threatened species he could not in all good conscience do anything that puts their survival at risk.


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