To Save Happy Valley Coalition, From Jeanette

I was absolutely gutted yesterday to hear that Solid Energy has moved into our beautiful valley to begin its destruction. I wish I could be here [in Christchurch] with you today. I want to celebrate all the people who have kept vigil at the camp, walked five hours to get there in hard weather, given up time and comfort, and who are still going. Congratulations all of you.When I visited the valley several years ago with Solid Energy and DOC I couldn’t believe it was still such an untouched place. The red tussock, the streams, the beech-clad valley sides, and the knowledge that ancient snails and roroa had lived here forever and were still here. It is a magic place, and turning it all into greenhouse gases turns my stomach sick.

The fight is not over. We have to publicly shame them. We will do what we can to publicise this in the House.

Please take strength and courage from the fact that so many of us are with you in spirit and from time-to-time will be with you in person.

Kia kaha,

Thursday 23 April

“NEW CAMP: Helen Tulett and Lily Duval at their new protest camp in Christchurch.” Image from The Press .

70 Comments Posted

  1. This is sad. Thank you Jeanette and others for continuing this campaign.

    The fact remains that the world’s people demand steel production, with the associated requirements for raw materials. I wonder how much new steel production extended producer responsibility could avoid, and how much of existing steel production ends up in landfills. In the end we must move to a more sustainable model.

  2. “which will have one aim being to tarnish the undeserved clean and green reputation that NZ tourism is based on.”

    I am sick of all the tourists stinking up the joint, spending all their money here.

  3. Thanks Jeanette. As one of the few (three?) decision-making politicians who have come and looked at the proposed mine site in Happy Valley, and therefore one of the few who actually knows what she’s talking about, we appreciate your support.

  4. trees of tomorrow said..

    “..the difference is Jeanette will do things like becomes in campaigns and not just write blogs and troll the net…”

    um..about ‘just write blogs..”

    maybe you should go to

    there you will the ‘green things’ category..3,268 stories/links..

    and under vegan .. 734 stories/links..

    ..we do what we can..

    ..some of us..


  5. Fair call.

    I apologise for the word “dishonest”

    I suspected the valley was being used as a platform for a wider, far l@ft agenda.

  6. sam – BluePeter likes to pepper his comments with little snipes at the Greens and favours words and phrases like ‘dishonest’ and ‘lacks integrity’ etc. When challenged, he seems to be surprised that anyone would find his approach at all offensive! It’s a tired, old habit of his.

  7. A few banner drops and an occupation of Solid Energy’s HQ is hardly an excessive media stunt based campaign. There has been two train blockade action’s in the history of the campaign, and during the three year occupation’s history. For a 5 year campaign, a lot has happened with very few people.

    I would imagine it is the job of groups like greenpeace to do viral marketing, as they are glorified marketing companies. Grassroots groups what to change things, not just do marketing campaigns aimed at John Key, which in all honesty is similar to a media stunt campaign I think.

    A new anti coal organisation is being set up, which will have one aim being to tarnish the undeserved clean and green reputation that NZ tourism is based on.

    Postcards and posters were made which show the contrast of Happy Valley and opencast strip mining. It was a waste of money sending them to labour mps.

    There is a nice letter in today’s herald from someone from Orakei 🙂

  8. Well get on wth it then, Turnip.

    Of course, 90 percent of Save Happy Valley’s work hasn’t inviolved media stunts or protests, but people like Turnip don’t see that so claim it isn’t happening.

    Blue Peter – nothing you say suggests dishonesty, so why allege it? Not liking somebody, or disagreeing with them, doesn’t make them dishonest.

  9. When I look at the happy valley campaign. I see a great failure to communicate. This is of course the number one problem with the world wide green movement. Since the green movements inception back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The only way to generate publicity for the movement was via protesting and media stunts.

    However the world has completely changed however the Green movement has not. They are still stuck in the age of media stunts in order to draw attention to your cause. This is no longer the case. Social media sites which allow humans to communicate amoungst them selves are far more effective than camping out in happy valley.

    As an example where is your viral marketing campaign to gain sympathy to your cause. Why are you not flooding the blogs and social media sites with a coordinated campaign to draw awareness to this cause.

    Why are you not producing youtube videos that show the valley as it is today and the valley as it will be after they start strip mining. Then promoting those videos.

    Also why are you not trying to raise international awareness that NZ is not a clean green country and that the clean green image is marketing spin by the New Zealand government, by doing that you turn the New Zealand tourism industry into a powerful ally and an enemy of solid energy.

    The way to save happy valley is to get key people within the New Zealand tourism industry to call John Key and tell him he needs to put a stop to solid energy plans in happy valley.

    Of couse you guys have been too BUSY protesting and creating media stunts to actually bother with the hard work of actually trying to save happy valley.

  10. Some of the happy valley supporters have been miners, farmers and all sorts. tho also some anarchists, unionists, socialists/anti capitalists, students and hippies and all the rest.

    Solid Energy has many parts that are pretty free market and Don Elder are rather far right. Don Elder is pro free trade and economic growth at all cost.

    If Happy valley campaigners were anti all coal they would disrupt mines in Waikato and Southland, and also target Pike River Coal and Eastern Corporation (Australian company) and their mines. Disruption to Solid Energy and mining in NZ has been minor. Certainly far less that what has happened in Australia and Europe (and also Bangladesh and elsewhere) with anti mining or climate campaigners.

    Act is far right. And Labour is pro free trade too – that means there is a lot on the right, any many NZers aren’t pro act or labour.

  11. Came across, to me, as rent-a-mob.

    In those videos, people talk of how they’re protesting against global warming, the mining industry, etc. So you’re left with the impression that they’d be protesting ANY coal mining development. Add to that the disruption – blocking trains – and their stereotypical appearance, and you can see how they’d fail to convince anyone outside their circle.

    Since we’re so used to tribal identity politics in NZ, you’d convince more people if you dressed up and looked more establishment.

    That’s where the Greens need to be if they’re to last, imho. Position as middle-road, pragmatic Labourish, and conflate green-ness with being kiwi. New Zealanders sense of identity is tied up with the natural environment. Easy.

    But your far l@ft positioning will kill you off.

  12. “This Happy Valley protest always smacked of dishonesty. They always seemed to be banging on about coal and AGW.”

    So what was dishonest?

    By the way, as an example of a Save Happy Valley Campaigner, I’m an old punk, not a hippie.

  13. BluePeter said: All the countryside looks similar from the air? Is that not the case on the ground?

    Would Gerry Brownlee be able to detect the irony that your statement is dripping with, I wonder?

  14. or on Gerry Brownlees floor 🙂
    along with submissions and letters of concern from conservationists

  15. phase one:

    The new $60 million mining development will involve construction of two new mining pits and associated infrastructure, extending Stockton Mine’s operational area to the east into the Upper Waimangaroa Mining Permit area. The Cypress pits will contribute approximately 5 million tonnes of high-quality coal to Stockton’s production over about 10 years.

  16. two pits + endless more mines, Solid Energy have plans to mine the entire waimangaroa valley + nearby mountians.

    permits and applications can usually be found on the Crown Minerals website or on Gerry Browlees floor.

  17. On the ground looks very different. A major contrast of area near stockton mine and in the mining area and the pristine areas can be observed.

    mine aims to be two opencast strip mine pits. solid energy is also mining many of the mountians in the area. after the cypress mine (happy valley, 10 year mine) more mines would be built, so it is the overall effect to consider (that the environment court and people like Nick Smith and Gerry Brownlee don’t).

    Two pits, and roading access, streams, rivers and wetlands disturbed or destroyed, kiwi habitat and forest. There are waterfalls and so on in the area, bats (i presume in caves i have not personally seen them), a maori buriel ground possibly and lots of rare species.

    the are is not countryside, it is wilderness, with the exception of the old st pats dam and the dead forest under it (it was once flooded).

  18. Hmmm….this mining area does look rather large.

    I take it back. You’ve got a point.

    Is that mining area going to extend all the way to Happy Valley from where it is now?

  19. >>Upper Waimangaroa (Happy Valley)’

    Found it. Thanks.

    Ok, so how much of it gets destroyed?

    All the countryside looks similar from the air? Is that not the case on the ground?

  20. >>You haven’t got your feet on the ground.

    On that basis, few greenies understand Antartica.

    >>Hungry for some ‘debate action’ were you?

    Yep. It’s fun, eh.

  21. Stop doing the Lord Nelson act, BP.

    I just looked at Google Earth and had no trouble finding it – it’s noted a couple of times as ‘Happy Valley’ or ‘Upper Waimangaroa (Happy Valley)’. It’s at 41 degrees 42 minutes 18.14 seconds South and 171 degrees 53 minutes 02.69 seconds East – I don’t have an NZMS 260 to hand, so can’t give you NZMG coordinates.

    To the north and west you’ll see a whole lot of bare areas – this is the Stockton mine.

    This isn’t a grassy valley – it’s a rare high altitude wetland, with unusual rock formations and dwarf forest on the margins. It’s bit like the mid-Heaphy track, just a lot prettier, and with fewer pests.

  22. Blue – scarey d has you pinned and treesoftomorrow dealt the coup de grace. You haven’t got your feet on the ground. The fact that you ‘can’t get excited about it’ has me wondering why you bothered to comment at all. Hungry for some ‘debate action’ were you? It’s all good, I suppose, until you bestir someone who does ‘get excited about it’.

  23. Pie? I prefer a decent meal and a fine glass of red.

    Beats some freeze-dried tramping sustenance.

    Each to their own.

    >>You cannot be an observer from cyber space and an expert on places you cannot even find on the map

    Straw man. Never claimed I was. I just want to see it in context.

    But given the fact I can’t even locate it suggests to me it isn’t a large area. Coupled with the fact that greenies will object to ANY mining operation, I just can’t get excited about it. I’m looking at the West Coast and there are hundreds of empty valleys.

  24. Blue Peter said ” I don’t want to go there, I want to look at it on my map.

    PS: I’ve driven the West Coast.”

    Yes, I know the type. The drive thru..stop for a piss and pie and know it all right? Look get real…you don’t know what you are talking about. You cannot be an observer from cyber space and an expert on places you cannot even find on the map let alone judge their environmental values.

  25. Only way you could be convinced yould be to see it, but like the conservation and climate minister – i doubt you will.

  26. >>enhancing the quality of the existing natural environments/ecosystems, and all of the econimic advantage that follows

    Like what? How does one lead to the other? What is the cost to the economy of not disturbing ecosystems?

    >>pinus radiata

    It’s still a tree. And a useful one, at that. Does it matter it didn’t originate here? Neither did trout, and they’re also very useful. Chilies. Carrots.

    I have nothing against “immigrants”.

  27. I don’t want to go there, I want to look at it on my map.

    PS: I’ve driven the West Coast. Great scenery. And huge. And empty.
    Which is kinda my point. If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?

    You’ve got a tough job convincing me it is so significant if I can’t even find it….

  28. basicalls follow SH 67, then go to the east of stockton mine, you may find the old st pats dam on google earth, that is on the edge of happy valley.

  29. My personal ‘economic vision for New Zealand’ (I can’t speak for the other hippies) would have enhancing the quality of the existing natural environments/ecosystems, and all of the econimic advantage that follows, highest on the list. Mining, with the extensively documented environmental damage that accompanies it, would come well down that list. So far down, if fact, that it might not be there at all!
    (Clue for understanding the situation Bluepeter – your pinus radiata plantation is not one of the natural ecosystems I talk about!)

  30. I can’t locate either. They aren’t in the search. Anyone can label the location.

    Where is it in relation to Greymouth?

  31. Solid Energy has emailed out the exclusion zone and legal threats but it is illegal to show others that, otherwise I would offer to show you that map.

  32. You’re a pedant, aren’t you Greenfly. Stop being a di@k.

    We have a lot of land. We have little mining activity.

    Until you hippies can come up with an economic vision for NZ- you know, tell us how we’ll pay for all these social services, medicines, technology etc – then I’ll keep supporting the status quo.

  33. scareyd: I don’t think pictures can be published in comments, but you are welcome to give a URL to a picture on a blog or website…

  34. The save happy valley campaign is not an anti mining or anti coal campaign. although people in the group (some) may hold those views, promarily the campaign is to save the upper waimagaroa valley (happy valley) from being shipped off to steelmills overseas, and the coal being released into the atmosphere.

    the two main thrusts are climate justice/climate chaos and biodiversity/conservation.

    bluepeter – have a look at stockton mine on google earth – or google maps satelite function. will be no happy valley mine on google earth as contruction has not started.

    we are short of wetlands and kiwi, and the local bats there. i suggest any critics visit the area. althought there is a public exclusion zone on the public land on which happy valley lies.

    some photos are here

    and the blog has more images and there are several videos on youtube and available on hardcopy.

    DOC has info on how unique the area is – reports can be attained from the west coast conservator’s office.

  35. Blue Peter

    “It’s ok, I have Google Earth.” Its ok Blue Peter – I understand, you must have the low res – version upgrade to Broadband, Upgrade to the hi res Google earth and you will be able to see clearly. Even better get off you butt get down here and check it out. Right now is a good time too we are getting an inch and hour! You will luv the sludge

  36. I guess anything humans do to earth mother is an act of destruction.
    No, not at all Blue. There are innumerable ways to improve the environment. You sound like some flakey, tie-dyed bush-hugging hippy, with your ‘all human activity is bad’ statements.
    Your ‘South Island: large etc. statement makes you sound even more introverted and unworldly. Cats aside your hemp-kaftan, put down your spiralini smoothie and get out into the real world, BluePeter. And while you’re doing that, try to stop being a dick! 🙂

  37. scareyd

    It’s ok, I have Google Earth. I notice Happy Valley is not even marked, which is curious given anyone can do so.

    I’m seeing mile after mile of empty valleys on the West Coast. Can’t see any mining activity, so it must be insignificant by comparison to the size of the island.

  38. It’s paying for your mates benes and education.

    South Island: large
    Mining activity: very small

  39. I wonder if Blue Peter has flown over the area? “…not short of grassy valleys?” Fly over the Stockton plateau and then say that mate! or better still visit the once divine 10mile creek (Coast Road) and enjoy the mining equipment lying around on the valley floor and in the creek, or better still all the redundant mines hanging off the cliffs mate!
    PS can I post pictures here?

  40. I guess anything humans do to earth mother is an act of destruction. But it’s such emotive nonsense, eh. We’re not exactly short of grassy valleys are we….

    This Happy Valley protest always smacked of dishonesty. They always seemed to be banging on about coal and AGW.

  41. “has moved into our beautiful valley to begin its destruction”

    Once again the Greens do not let the truth get in the way of their bias.

  42. I have to confess, because I am a bit of a plant freak (especially natives) I would probably find the destruction of this valley a little sad.
    I guess the question is whether or not it really is as unique as some are saying. It seems to me that this protest has always been more focussed as a general protest against coal mining and solid energy in particular.
    I do know that solid energy spend quite a bit on replanting natives, and I would suggest that rehabilitating red tussock land would be a lot easier than forest.

  43. Has Jeanette gone psyco? Was only a matter of time I guess.
    I will make a donation to help protect these kids from this lunatic….oh wait….I already am!! its called income tax!! 🙂

  44. StephenR – looking at what Solid Energy and those who support them plan to do, you could say that people have already got the wrong idea.

  45. I hope the greens can do something to help us with Solid Energy. It is my opinion SE is a most draconian organization. Reminds me so much of the Timberlands of old when they were devastating native forests here for profit. Same attitude, same eggspurts, same bullshit. It does not matter where on this planet this fuel is burned – Solid Energy must wear the badge of contributor global warming. It destroys environment for profit and pollutes our atmosphere. Where is Nicky? We need a book!

  46. That should read:

    ‘To Save Happy Valley Coalition, From Jeanette’ – without the comma it looks like the HVC needs saving from Jeanette yeah?

  47. Phil – The Save Happy Coalition is an conservation group, not a vegan organisation. Although it has had many vegans, and a lot of the camp has been powered by dark chocolate.

    the difference is Jeanette will do things like becomes in campaigns and not just write blogs and troll the net.

    How do vegan’s do pest management I wonder…

  48. why..? told by her to a womans’ mag..

    jeanettes’ favourite food is her ‘home/hand-reared calf’..

    ..(in her own words..)

    ..i am not making this up..


  49. how will they defend themselves against her..?

    pacifist/veggie activists vs. calf-killing/eating wild coromandal woman..

    (jeanette lifted her head from the cooked flesh of the/her (home-killed) slain/fatted calf..

    ..and wiped the animals’ fat/grease from her mouth..

    ..with the back of her hand..

    ‘curse those vegans..!”..she spat..)

    it’s no contest..!

    won’t someone think of the veggies..!


  50. phil – I think she’s going to make them live in a tent in Christchurch. It just lacks the romance of the Happy Valley, I think!
    Must say, I never thought I’d see the day when Jeanette was regarded as a threat by our own kind!

    Peter Quixote – it’s pwosper, that’s the pwoper way to say it!

  51. life is tough fwog,
    sometimes you lose,
    keep going with NAT fwog, many good things will follow,
    our nation will prosper fwog,
    we will prosper,

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