Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Giant mine sneaking through under new law

October 8, 2003 – Wellington

Giant mine sneaking through under new law

Forest and Bird is dismayed that a massive state-owned 11 million tonne opencast coalmine is being processed under controversial new ‘limited notification’ procedures for proposals that have only a ‘minor’ impact.

“It’s important to grasp the scale of this proposal,” Forest and Bird Conservation Manager Kevin Hackwell said today. “The coal and ‘waste’ rock from this mine could make a solid cube that would be higher than the sky tower. The ‘waste’ rock above the coal is between 15 and 20 stories thick.

This is a massive mine and cannot be considered ‘minor’.”

Greenpeace this morning announced that Environment Waikato is processing an application under the Resource Management Act for a new Solid Energy mine north-east of Raglan. Only a limited number of identified parties have been notified of the proposal and national environment and conservation organizations have been excluded from making submissions on the massive mine.

“Before Environment Waikato could consider limited notification, it had to be satisfied that the environmental effects of the mine are minor. People throughout New Zealand will be wondering how any council could decide that the impact of digging a two and a half square kilometre hole in the ground was minor,” Mr. Hackwell said.

“Forest and Bird campaigned against limited notification because we knew the provisions would be abused. What we didn’t expect is for the provision to be so spectacularly abused so fast by a state owned company,” he said.

“Solid Energy is a state owned enterprise. The government is setting a bad precedent by allowing one of its own companies to abuse the RMA in this manner. It makes a mockery of the government’s commitment to maintaining public consultation under the RMA,” he said.

“Prior to limited notification becoming law, Forest and Bird, Greenpeace, National Council of Women, Friends of the Earth, Environmental Defence Society and Environment and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand (ECO) wrote to Prime Minister Helen Clark warning that limited notification would reduce opportunities for public consultation. It has taken less than three months for this prediction to come true,” he said.

“Responsibility for this decision lies with the Government. They provided assurances that public interest groups would continue to be notified with the proposed changes. Those assurances have proven hollow,” he said.


Limited notification came into effect on the 1st of August 2003.

The RMA is written in favour of public notification. Councils are allowed the discretion to use limited notification procedures only when satisfied the effects of an activity are ‘minor’.

The proposed mine contains 11 million cubic metres of coal and has 113 million cubic metres of overburden (the ‘waste’ rock that overlies the coal). The area of the mine pit will be two and a half square kilometres. The overburden is between 40 and 60 metres thick (15 to 20 storeys).

Contact: Kevin Hackwell Conservation Manager 04 385 7374. Cell phone 025 227 8420

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>


Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>


Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>


Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels