Endangered species

August 14, 2013

Forest and Bird does a lot of good work to protect endangered species.

They also have a propensity for protesting against development.

Some West Coasters have had enough of that in their patch.

A group travelled to Wellington to protest against F&B’s continued opposition to Bathurst’s Denniston Mine.

One hoarding read: Westcoasters endangered by Forest and Bird.

This might not be the only opposition F&B faces.

Go West Coast is investigating legal avenues for opposing the opposers.

Chairman Brent Oldham said that the four and a half year resource consent process has obviously cost Bathurst considerable time and expense. GWC is concerned that the longer final approval takes, the more financial and time pressure is being placed on Bathurst – and he wonders just how much more they can take.

“If, at the end of this, Bathurst walk away from this project and cite on-going vexatious litigation from Forest and Bird as being the primary reason for this, then we believe Forest and Bird need to be held accountable. To this end, we are investigating whether a group claim could be initiated.

As part of their access arrangement to the Denniston Plateau, Bathurst Resources has committed to pay $22m to the Department of Conservation to be used on predator and pest controls in the Kahurangi National Park. It seems incredible to us that Forest and Bird seem prepared to risk the single biggest investment  by a private company to the Kahurangi National Park in return for the use of 106 hectares of 2,400 hectare Denniston Plateau that will otherwise, in all likelihood, never have a cent spent on it.

Forest and Bird’s constitution lists advocation of the destruction of introduced species harmful to New Zealand’s flora and fauna as a primary objective, yet their continuing appeals, in this instance, could be shown to contradict this objective.” . . .

The economy and social fabric of the West Coast will be boosted if the mine goes ahead.

The environmental impact will be mitigated.

The jobs and downstream work the mine would bring, the social impact of that, and $22m of pest and predator control seems very good compensation for disturbing a very small area albeit one with conservation value.

 


Coast to show support for mine

August 10, 2013

It is usually easier to get people motivated to oppose development than to support it.

But Environment West Coast was set up as a pro-mining lobby group and it plans to show their support for the Denniston mine in Westport today.

The news that the Environment Court has indicated their intention to issue final consent to Bathurst Resources to mine the old Escarpment workings at Denniston has been greeted with a sense of relief and a mood of celebration on the West Coast today.

Mindful that every-time a decision goes in favour of Bathurst, a flood of protests and legal challenges seem to erupt from the like of the Green Party and Forest and Bird, the relief is tempered with the thought “what are the opponents going to say or do next”.

Last month a Forest and Bird spokesperson said that “most West Coasters don’t support mining”.

Tomorrow, the people of Westport intend to disprove this by decorating the main street in Buller colours (red and blue) and displaying signs of support for Bathurst.


Above and below the line

May 9, 2013

How much of the West Coast is conservation land and how much is being mined?

Environment West Coast chairman Brent Oldham illustrates how much of the West Coast is actually being mined. The page represents the West Coast, which is 23,500sqkm in area. Above the black line is the area of West Coast land in conservation estate (19,000sq km). Below the line is the area of rateable land. The line itself – just 0.12mm thick – represents the 14sq km disturbed by mining. (Photo – Lee Scanlon Westport News 7-May-2013):

west coast


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