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Kiwi Spotted In Midland Park

10 February 2006

Kiwi Spotted In Midland Park

Images By Timothy Bailey

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Over 100 inflatable kiwi were released in Midland Park at 12noon on Friday, February 10th by members of the Save Happy Valley Coalition (Wellington). The kiwi were then dragged away and moved by "Solid Energy miners".

The release highlighted the plight of up to 145 kiwi that live in the Upper Waimangaroa Valley, on the West Coast of the South Island that are threatened by state owned enterprise Solid Energy's plans to create open cast coal mines throughout the Valley.

Save Happy Valley Coalition (Wellington) spokesperson Timothy Bailey said "While the pain suffered by the inflatable kiwi may not have been real, the destruction that Solid Energy aims to wreak cannot be laughed off so easily."

"The proposed Cypress Mine in Happy Valley must be stopped. The lives of Great spotted kiwi (roa), the *Powelliphanta Patrickensis *giant carnivorous land snail and a number of other rare and endangered species are at stake. Solid Energy's poor environmental record belies their claims that they can be trusted to minimise the undeniable impact that their proposed mine will have."

Members of the Save Happy Valley Coalition from all over the country are currently taking part in an occupation of the proposed mine site.

Notes:

The Save Happy Valley Coalition is a collection of groups and individuals from around Aotearoa committed to stopping Solid Energy's proposed open-cast coal mine in Happy Valley (Upper Waimangaroa Valley) on the West Coast. The coalition is made up of West Coast locals, students, workers and the general public. The group has a track record of creative protests, occupations and lock-ons, as well as producing a variety of informative media. More information about the coalition and its history can be found at http://www.savehappyvalley.org.nz/aboutus.htm

The proposed mine will destroy the habitat of a number of native species that are already threatened with extinction. The proposed mine will also pollute local waterways through acid mine drainage and contribute 12 million tonnes of climate changing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere when the coal is burnt. Most of the coal is destined for export to overseas steel-making industries.

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Solid Energy is a state owned enterprise.

In 1998, there were thought to be around 11,000 pairs of Great Spotted Kiwi. It's down to around 17,000 adults today. Although data is limited, it seems that numbers are stable in wet, upland zones, but still in decline in drier and lower areas. - from Kiwirecovery.org.nz

ENDS



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