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Denniston decision undermines NZ

Denniston decision undermines NZ

Forest & Bird says it is extremely disappointed by the Environment Court’s decision today to grant Bathurst Resources permission to dig an open cast coal mine on conservation land on the Denniston Plateau.

“This is terrible news for New Zealand, and our important wildlife and places,” says Forest & Bird Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin.

“Forest & Bird has advocated through the courts in the interests of conservation, and future generations of New Zealanders.

“Bathurst volunteered to establish a permanent protected area on the plateau, to partially make up for the destruction its open cast coal mine would cause. But this requirement was absent from today’s final judgement.

“Instead the company will now only be required to only carry out its “best endeavours” to make amends,” Debs Martin says.

“We do not believe that such a destructive project should go ahead in any circumstances. But if it does, the company must be required to establish a permanently protected area.

“We will decide in the coming days whether to appeal the case,” Debs Martin says.

“Once again, the legal work Forest & Bird has undertaken to protect the plateau is work the Department of Conservation would have done until recently. DOC says the plateau’s hugely significant ecosystems are at a tipping point and it is very disappointing that DOC has been absent from this very critical court case.

“The Denniston Plateau is public land – and in DOC’s top 50 sites for biodiversity protection on the mainland,” Debs Martin says.

ends

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