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Denniston gamble more eco-vandalism from National

19 June 2014

Denniston gamble more eco-vandalism from National

Allowing opencast mining at Denniston is another example of short-sighted environmental vandalism from National, the Green Party said today.

Late yesterday the Government issued an Authority to Enter and Operate (AEO) to Australia’s Bathurst Resources Ltd, for its planned opencast coal mine in conservation land on the Denniston Plateau. The AEO means the company can now proceed with initial work on the site.

“Another green light for another environmental travesty,” said Green Party mining spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“This week we’ve learnt National has opened up the habitat of the endangered Maui’s for petroleum exploration, earlier this year it accidentally opened up the Department of Conservation's biggest forest park for oil and gas exploration and now it has given the final go-ahead for destruction in the rare and stunning landscape of Denniston.

“This mine will jeopardise one of the most unique native ecosystems in the world.

“But it’s not just a bad decision environmentally. It’s poor business sense.

“The global coal price has collapsed and Bathurst has publicly admitted it cannot afford to mine most of the area proposed. The company was reduced to begging for an extension of time to pay the compensation money they’ll owe DOC.

“It’s possible Bathurst won’t be able to pay up at all and then what are we left with? Another Stockton Plateau, which has been destroyed forever by opencast mining.

"New Zealanders love and want to protect our conservation land. In 2010, 40,000 people marched down Queen Street to protect it from mining. The Government has roundly ignored those people.

“The Minister of Conservation is allowing Bathurst to rip up conservation land in order to mine for a low value, dinosaur fossil fuel. New Zealanders deserve a Government that instead invests in a smart green innovative economy and that protects the wild places and animals New Zealanders love,” said Ms Delahunty.

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