Coasters want work not moralising

West Coast people have had enough of outsiders telling them what they can – and more often can’t – do:

West Coast Mayors say they are tired of outsiders telling locals how they should live their lives, while spreading misinformation about mining on the Coast.

Mayors Tony Kokshoorn and Pat McManus said they were appalled that Auckland and Labour MP Phil Twyford had agreed to receive a petition from protesters opposed to coal mining on the Denniston Plateau – which is the birth place of the Labour Party.

“Activists wrongly claim that Denniston is a pristine environment. It’s been a working coalfield for more than 100 years and it should continue to be.
“A local coal mining company is prepared to invest in the field and provide hundreds of much needed jobs for local people.

“We cannot wait for operations to begin and we will not tolerate Aucklanders moralising about what we are doing.

“The world needs our hard coking coal to make steel and other modern goods and we are willing and able to supply it,” the Mayors said.

Messrs Kokshoorn and McManus said they were particularly bemused that many who signed the petition were based outside the West Coast, or even outside the country.

The Mayors said they were open to discussions with environmental groups and would like to invite them to visit the coalfield on the Denniston Plateau.

Isn’t this far too often the way?

Local people want jobs and the benefits they bring to their communities. They don’t want them at any cost but they are open to discussion and development, with environmental safeguards.

Meanwhile people who might not even know exactly where the proposed jobs will be created, oppose development full stop because of a misguided idea it will ruin a pristine wilderness.

If it was their own backyards they were trying to protect they would be standing on firmer ground but it’s other people’s backyards where they want to ban development.

These people need jobs and the economic and social benefits which come with them. They are far better placed to ensure the environment is protected and possibly even enhanced than armchair environmentalists pontificating from distance parts of the country and the world.


One Response to Coasters want work not moralising

  1. Chris Bird says:

    I totally agree, Eli. I have family working on the Coast, near Westport, and I travel there regularly. The transformation of Westport over the past few years with money coming into that town from mining, especially the Stockton mine is amazing. What was a seemingly rundown town with scruffy buildings has had a makeover and is now a very tidy pleasant area. People who are opposed to mining on the coast need to take the tour to see what is happening at Stockton, with the area being refurbished after mining and Native plants grown from seed from the area being planted to turn the landscape back into something like it was. Traveling the main roads you can’t see areas that are mined, they are in the more remote sites, so spoiling the vista for tourists is a myth.

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