On Wednesday, John Key visited the southern Coromandel area with local National MP Scott Simpson and was challenged by citizens who spontaneously organised protests against the Government position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). I went down to Waihi expecting a handful of people but in fact there were 50 locals, many of […]
The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses signifying the 291 people who have died at work since the Pike River mine disaster […]
Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be done by establishing a sovereign wealth fund, he said. The Australian Government is now facing […]
Today I made my oral submission to the Environmental Protection Authority on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine phosphate from the seabed approximately halfway between the mainland and the Chatham Island. In a nutshell this application is for the deepest mining project in the world using mining equipment never used before, to vacuum up the […]
The Government has a strategy to avoid protecting the environment, especially land set aside for its conservation values. It’s called “net conservation benefit” and the poster child of this disingenuous piece of spin is the Bathurst Resources agreement with DOC at the Denniston Plateau. As DOC is increasingly required to commercialise and mining is promoted, […]
The Green Party has long advocated for ethical investment by the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. Several companies, in which the Super Fund invests, have been accused of human rights violations, the production of nuclear arms, and causing severe environmental damage. One such company was Barrick Gold– a Canadian mining company which has caused environmental damage […]
I don’t see eye to eye with the deep sea fishing industry on many things, having personally seen the havoc bottom trawling wreaks on the ocean floor, but one thing I do agree with them on is the issue of seabed phosphate mining.
The Environmental Protection Authority is about to decide if large-scale seabed mining is to start off the North Island’s West Coast in a precedent-setting case, but the playing field has been tipped against the environment from the start.
Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman and I recently went to Pureora Forest Park to experience what natural wonders New Zealand could lose if Energy Minister Simon Bridges decides to allow gold mining companies to explore for gold there. I met Russel in Taupo and together we headed west to the Park, known for its ancient […]
Not every bit of international media our Tourism Minister gets is good news for New Zealand as illustrated on a British website this week. New Zealand featured prominently on the Guardian website this week under the headline “New Zealand pushing plans to drill Middle-earth as Hobbit filming ends”
Early on Saturday morning, residents and friends of the Coromandel led by the legendary Coromandel Watchdog group took a two hour walk uphill to the Newmont gold drilling rig in the Wharekirauponga area of the Forest Park. Newmont has been drilling in this area for several years and claims to be pretty excited by the […]
On Friday there was another step backwards for Bathurst Resources in their bid to open cast mine the Denniston Plateau. The High Court ruled that the Environment Court had been in error with some of their findings from their interim decision in March. This requires the Environment Court to re-evaluate several aspects of the original […]
Many of the Frogblog readers would have supported the fantastic campaign in 2010 to love and protect the Schedule 4 areas of our beautiful country from mining. You will not be impressed by the news that the Government which promised to protect Schedule 4 is now eroding the promise. You will not be impressed by […]
I am concerned that the interim decision of the Environment Court does not rule out the mining of the Denniston Plateau. The interim decision of the Environment Court acknowledges that the Denniston Plateau has high biodiversity values which would be impacted by mining and that the situation is too close to call. However the decision […]
In news out this week, it’s clear the new frontline of climate change is deep at the bottom of the ocean.
I am celebrating today after the news that Solid Energy will be dropping its Lignite project in Southland. This is a win for the climate and our environment and for Southland.
There hasn’t been a great deal of good news lately for Solid Energy. What does the future hold?
One of these industries is shedding thousands of jobs, urging the Government to help, and being ignored. One of these industries is jobs-poor, urging the Government to back it, and being listened to. How about this instead?
The Pike River report released this week showed how little progress in health and safety New Zealand has made since the days of the Waihi mine strike. My own grandfather was a miner at Waihi. He died when my mother was small and my grandmother said that working in the mine meant long hours and […]
Last week three new reports commissioned by the European Union about fracking were released, which voiced strong concerns around fracking for shale gas, the unconventional gas sector and the lack of sufficient regulation in place to deal with the shale gas boom.
Solid Energy’s announcement last week of the suspension of work at the Spring Creek mine is a devastating blow to the West Coast economy and our local community. Up to 230 jobs could go (plus others in contractors and related industries), which is very bad news for the workers and their families who are dependent […]
The Government’s “drill it, mine it, frack it” economic plan for New Zealand is a lazy gamble that belies a lack a vision.
If you needed proof we are in the post-peak oil, extreme energy age one need just look at where the Government is going for their next fix. The Government has recently announced the first tranche of the MoBIE Science and Investment Round which included $3.2 million funding for gas hydrate exploration.
Next week renowned Australian environmental campaigner, Drew Hutton is touring NZ talking about the risks of coal seam gas and fracking.
Former Environment Minister Nick Smith has been peddling a pro-fracking article across the country’s newspapers but he can’t even get his facts straight.
This week I spent 4 days in the Environment Court with some Waihi residents opposing the expansion of the mining activities in the Martha pit. It is a small variation on the 1987 Mining Licence but it could lead a new large scale underground gold mine. At the hearing, the manawhenua Ngati Hako were raising […]
To mark a new phase in our campaign to protect our health and environment, this week we’re launching our Don’t Frack with NZ postcard.
The New Zealand Government has tried to downplay the risk of human-induced earthquakes but recent international reports show the Government should take a deeper interest.
I’m hitting the road with Catherine Delahunty on the Mining our Future tour. We’ll be travelling New Zealand over the coming weeks setting out the Government’s broad “drill it, mine it” agenda. We are starting with the big centres then will tour the provincial areas most affected by drilling and mining.
Yesterday new research was released by the Colorado School of Public Health in the US linking air pollution from fracking with serious health problems for those who live near wells.
It takes a lot of effort to mine for the truth among all the rhetoric and spin coming from the industry and our National-led Government. Currently, the Far North District Mayor is heading to a large miner’s conference in Canada to sell the minerals of Te Tai Tokerau/Northland to foreign miners. The trip has to […]
On Tuesday, Steven Joyce, Minister of Economic Development and Science and Innovation, wrote about the ‘you cant’s’ of our country, in an opinion piece in the NZ Herald. Feeling that perhaps I am one of those people he criticises as ‘people who in the one breath chant “more jobs, more jobs” and then in the next breath say “but don’t do that, or that, or that”, I thought I would ask Mr Joyce a few questions about why he and the National Government are saying ‘we won’t’ to a prosperous and sustainable Aotearoa
Submissions for the Government’s new bill regulating the Exclusive Economic Zone close this Friday and we need as many as possible to help improve this law.
It’s not just New Zealanders who are increasingly rejecting the tired old rhetoric about “balancing” environmental protection with economic progress used to excuse environmental degradation. This from Cajamarca, Peru:
Here’s the National Party’s Minister of Conservation, in response to Green MP Kevin Hague’s question in Parliament a couple of months ago: Kevin Hague: Does the Minister agree with the resource consent commissioners when they said “it is abundantly clear that large scale mining is poised to invade the entire Denniston Plateau coal reserves which […]
Norilsk Nickel is one of the world’s largest producers of nickel and palladium, as well as Russia’s leading gold producer. It’s also one of the dirtiest mining companies in the world. The company’s hometown operations in Russia have resulted in the city of Norilsk becoming one of the most polluted places in the world. Many […]
When someone heads off to work in the morning, they have a right to expect that their workplace is as safe as it can possibly be, and that they will return home again after work, safe and well. In the immediate aftermath of the Pike River mine disaster Cabinet ministers, most notably John Key himself […]
Last Sunday we went for a walk in the park. Some people went all the way to the Glass Earth/Newmont drilling rig high in the forest park and occupied it for a while. The rest of us with our babies and banners walked for an hour and a half up the beautiful Parikiwai Valley near […]
While some others were focused on political events elsewhere in the country, I was in Blackball for the annual Mayday celebrations and for the launch of a memorial wheel for those who have lost their lives in West Coast mines in recent years, most notably the Pike River 29. Families had made tiles with the […]
We have been supporting the Government’s decision to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate both the immediate causes of the Pike River disaster and wider systemic issues that may also have been contributors, and are particularly pleased that the terms of reference have been cast sufficiently broadly. The other suggestions we have made […]