Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Claims mining won’t destroy Plateau ecology laughable

Claims that mining won’t destroy Denniston Plateau ecology laughable
Claims by Bathurst Resources Ltd, CEO Hamish Bohannan on The Nation this morning that, after open cast mining on the Denniston Plateau, the company can “put things back pretty well as they were before” and “can make improvements” are completely at odds with any basic understanding of ecology and with a ministerial briefing paper on the proposed mine, Green Party conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage said today.
“Open cast mining will destroy the very values which make the Denniston Plateau unique and which led to its protection as conservation land,” said Ms Sage.
“The Denniston Plateau is New Zealand’s only remaining example of intact ecosystems associated with coal measure plateau. It is the only such area protected as conservation land. It supports a unique association of native plants adapted to its infertile, acidic, and poorly drained soils and harsh growing conditions.”
A Department of Conservation briefing paper to the Minister, released under the Official Information Act, is more realistic about the mine’s likely impacts. It states:
·          “The proposed open cast mine and consequent over burden dumps would permanently alter the landscape through the removal of a natural ridgeline; leaving post rehabilitation in the vicinity of  75% of the altered landscape unrevegetated.”
·         “The profound change in substrate and hydrology would alter the vegetation associations post-mining and reduce the current ecological integrity of the elevated Denniston Plateau.”
·         “The applicant makes much of the fact that they would be removing existing sources of acid mine drainage (Wharetea Plateau and Birchalls Co-operative mines); however, 156 hectares of exposed potentially acid forming rock would likely create a far more significant acid mine drainage problem.”
The paper also notes:
·         “The entire Denniston Plateau lies within the “West Coast Kawatiri Place” and  is identified as a “Priority Site for Biodiversity Management. It is also described as a nationally outstanding landscape…”
“Open cast coal mining has no place on conservation land. As Forest and Bird’s February BioBlitz showed new species are still being discovered on the Denniston Plateau,” said Ms Sage.
“The only other elevated Brunner coal measure plateau, Stockton Plateau, has been mined extensively for opencast coal.
“The Minister of Conservation must say “no” to Bathurst’s blandishments and continue to protect the nationally important biodiversity and landscape values of the Denniston Plateau,” Ms Sage said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Populism’s Changing Of The Guard, Plus A Soul Music Playlist

The weekend’s Newshub/Reid Research poll results - Act up to 11.1%, National up 1% but still sitting at only 28.7%, Labour down to 43%, the Greens up to 8.5% - shows that the combined centre right vote is still languishing nearly 12 points behind the combined centre-left vote, 45 months after the last centre-right government was voted out... More>>


Government: Offers Formal Apology For Dawn Raids
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today formally apologised to Pacific communities impacted by the Dawn Raids in the 1970s.

Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families... More>>

Government: Bill Introduced To Protect Against Conversion Practices

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression... More>>


Government: Welcomes Draft Report On The Retail Grocery Sector

The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said... More>>


Human Rights Commission: Successive Governments Responsible For Massive Breaches Of The Right To A Decent Home

Te Kahu Tika Tangata / Human Rights Commission has today launched Framework Guidelines on the Right to a Decent Home in Aotearoa and announced that it will hold a national inquiry into housing... More>>

NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>




InfoPages News Channels