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Denniston Mining Not the Green Growth New Zealand Needs


Denniston Mining Not the Green Growth New Zealand Needs

Auckland, 6 December 2011 - Pure Advantage, the organisation championing a green growth paradigm shift for New Zealand has joined Forest & Bird in questioning a decision by Conservation Minister, Kate Wilkinson, to shut out public consultation over the proposed coal mine at Denniston Plateau on the South Island's West Coast.

Rob Morrison, Chairman of Pure Advantage, says the decision to bypass public consultation over the access agreement to the public conservation land and to support mining of the biodiversity-rich Denniston Plateau is another threat to New Zealand’s clean and green image.

“New Zealand promotes its pure image and clean and green credentials, probably more than any other country. It relies heavily on those credentials, especially in the export and tourism sectors.

“To on the one hand defend New Zealand’s pure image and to enjoy the benefits derived from that perception and on the other to encourage mining on public conservation and crown land appears very much to be a case of wanting your cake and eating it too.”

Morrison adds that the outcry during last year’s Schedule 4 debate showed that protecting New Zealand’s environment, and the global value of our clean and green brand, is paramount in public sentiment.

“This was echoed in the latest polling by independent research company Horizon¹ showing that the largest percentage of respondents saw many benefits associated with trade opportunities, including ‘economic growth which improves the environment’. This includes widespread business support with 59% of business managers voting for a move away from the present fossil fuel economy.

“In addition to the damage that mining does to our clean and green credentials, coal has a major detrimental environmental effect globally. For example coal usage is a key cause of the pollution that kills an estimated 750,000 people in China each year², and it is a significant contributor to climate change. The world will not reduce its reliance on coal any time soon but that’s no excuse for New Zealand to be a participant in that problem. New Zealand should be in the business of exporting solutions to the world’s problems, not contributing to them

“New Zealand can plan a prosperous future around sustainable green growth industries that not only protect our clean, green 100% Pure brand but will also be the platform for a new wave of jobs as well as export growth in services and technologies to global markets. Investing in green growth will position New Zealand as part of the solution and allow us to capitalise on long-term opportunities offered by the global shift away from fossil fuels,” says Mr Morrison.

Pure Advantage Trustees include some of New Zealand’s most successful and respected business leaders including New Zealander of the Year, Professor Sir Paul Callaghan, Sir George Fistonich, Rob Fyfe, Chris Liddell, Phillip Mills, Jeremy Moon, Lloyd Morrison, Rob Morrison, Geoff Ross, Justine Smyth, Sir Stephen Tindall, and Joan Withers.


Note to Editors
¹This survey of 1,013 New Zealanders aged 18+ was conducted nationwide by Horizon Research between 8am November 7 and 8 am November 11, 2011.

Respondents are weighted by age, gender, ethnicity, personal income, educational qualifications and party vote 2008 to provide a representative sample of the New Zealand adult population.

At a 95% confidence level, the maximum margin of error is +/- 3.1%.

A full copy of the Horizon poll can be provided on request.

² CLSA Asia Pacific Markets report ’China’s energy binge’, Sept 2010

Pure Advantage Trustees are:
Sir Paul Callaghan
Sir George Fistonich
Rob Fyfe
Chris Liddell
Philip Mills
Jeremy Moon
Lloyd Morrison
Rob Morrison (Chairman)
Geoff Ross
Justine Smyth
Sir Stephen Tindall
Joan Withers

About Pure Advantage
Pure Advantage has been established by a group of New Zealand business leaders united by a shared vision of green growth for greater wealth. Pure Advantage is determined to deliver world-leading improvements to our economy, our environmental performance and the living standards of all New Zealanders. The name reflects New Zealand’s pure, clean, green competitive advantage on the world stage.

It is our belief that our country can have a better future if we take action now to protect our unique natural environment, grow our high value exports and develop new industries that will thrive in international green growth markets.

New Zealand’s economic and environmental performance is sliding, and the goal of greater wealth for our country and our people is slipping further away. Our exporters cannot afford to be caught in the gap between New Zealand’s clean, green marketing proposition and a different reality.

By working with communities, businesses, Government and iwi, Pure Advantage believes that we can make a difference.

Join us and help turn our natural advantages into greater wealth for all New Zealanders. Sign up through our website at www.pureadvantage.org and also visit us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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