In November 2017, the Buller District Council granted the resource consent for Te Kuha mine, a 109 hectare opencast coal mine on the West Coast. But the government was still to decide whether to allow the miners to take the top off the mountain – the 12 hectares that are part of the Mt Rochfort Conservation Park.
The Department of Conservation has stated that this area is “recognised as nationally and internationally unique and for having very high ecological and conservation value.” It contains Great Spotted Kiwi and other rare and endangered species and plants.
350 Aotearoa teamed up with Coal Action Network to make it clear that Te Kuha and all new coal projects are not Aotearoa’s future, and to stop this project in its tracks. New Zealanders signed on to our petition to tell our ministers that coal is not our future.
On June 16th 2018, Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, and Minister for Energy and resources, Megan Woods, announced that the application for the part of Te Kuha Mine on conservation land, the 12 hectares that are part of the Mt Rochfort Conservation Park, has been declined. This decision came after months of campaigning by 350 Aotearoa, Coal Action Network Aotearoa and Forest and Bird for strong opposition to the mine. We all know that if we want a safe, liveable climate we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Yet, the mining company, Stevenson Group, is ignoring this fact, and still plans to proceed with the Te Kuha coal mine. The June announcement is a huge step in stopping them in their destructive tracks. But our fight is not over! If Stevenson Group does go ahead with this mine the climate implications of Te Kuha mine will reach much further than the West Coast. This is an issue that impacts our whole nation, our neighbours in the Pacific, and our global commitments. Stay tuned to hear how you can help keep it in the ground! Also see 350 Auckland’s campaign calling for Auckland Museum to cut their sponsorship ties with Stevenson Group