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Denniston Mine should not go ahead

27 August 2011

Denniston Mine should not go ahead

The consent granted just for the Denniston open cast coal-mine was trenchantly criticised by the Green Party today.

“The Denniston consent is the most egregious example yet of ignorant decision-making in our national energy development”, said the Green’s Associate Climate Change spokesperson, Kennedy Graham.

“The decision reveals the inadequate process and procedure adopted in our consent hearings in the 21st century”, observed Dr Graham.

“The factors brought into consideration are largely misplaced and wrong”, he said. “They focus, erroneously, on short-term material benefit of employment and financial earnings. They ignore the countervailing medium-term health costs and the long-term economic stress of dangerous climate change, both of which far outweigh the illusory short-term gains.

“New Zealand accepted a legal obligation, 19 years ago, to take immediate action to avert dangerous climate change. Developed countries such as New Zealand are required to take the lead at national and regional levels. Instead, the West Coast Regional Council displays the dim-witted wisdom of permitting an open cast coal-mine that will further increase our net carbon emissions.

“This will have major negative consequences for West Coasters as the years go by There could be no more short-sighted economic planning. The commissioners say they had reservations and suffered anguish over their decision. Understandable because it is so patently absurd.

“The mayor endorses the 424 jobs and $41 m. in wages. The Green Party can find 424 green jobs and $41 m. in wages that are socially and environmentally sustainable”, said Dr Graham.

West Coast based Green MP Kevin Hague said we need to invest in a new economy for the coast.

“Rather than investing in the old West Coast economy of mining, we should look to the future and invest in green jobs that bring value to the people and the environment of the coast.

“Real economic prosperity for the coast will be created by smart, green solutions that keep profits on the Coast and in New Zealand

Mr. Hague said that the proposed area for the mine would destroy over 200 hectares of a unique eco-system.

“We should be protecting the area so that future generations can enjoy the coast's unique places and species,” Mr. Hague said.


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