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Mangatangi Mine hearings kick off on Monday

22 Aug

Resource consent hearings into a proposed new open-cast coal mine kick off on Monday morning at:

Mangatangi Marae
199 Mangatangi Road, Mangatangi
Monday 26 August
Pōwhiri at 8:30 a.m.

The Waikato Councils had intended the pōwhiri to be for the Commissioners only, but the Marae Chairman has since extended the welcome to all parties to the hearings.

If you are concerned to see a new coal mine being opened in the face of opposition from the local community and to the detriment of the climate, that means you!

Click for location on Google Maps

Climate change still cannot be directly considered under the current resource consent regime in New Zealand. This is rather ironic considering that coal is the worst contributor to climate change and that climate change is the most serious environmental issue facing humanity.

We therefore expect the Climate Elephant (in the room) to make an appearance during the hearings.

The Climate Elephant goes where climate change is being ignored

The Climate Elephant goes where climate change is being ignored

Can I attend the hearings?

Yes, resource consent hearings are open to the public.

How can I get there?

Follow the GoogleMap directions to Mangatangi Marae, 199 Mangatangi Road, Mangatangi.

Mangatangi is approximately a 45-minute drive from central Auckland. To carpool from Auckland, please contact aucklandcoalaction@gmail.com

When is the best time to go?

Come along to the pōwhiri on Monday 26th August at 8:30 a.m. at Mangatangi Marae (above).

To hear Fonterra’s submissions on why they should be allowed to open a new open-cast coal mine, you can attend the first week of the hearings 26-30 August.

To hear opposing submissions come along on the second week of submissions, starting Monday 2 September.

Who will be making oral submissions in opposition to the mine?

We understand the following groups and individuals will be making oral submissions:

Coal Free Mangatawhiri and other concerned locals

Coal Action Network Aotearoa

Auckland Coal Action

Ora Taiao: The New Zealand Climate & Health Council

Jeanette Fitzsimons

Catherine Delahunty, Green Party MP

Watch this space for a more detailed schedule of submitters as the information becomes available.

Queen’s Birthday coal protest

3 Jun

The queue of traffic returning to Auckland at the end of the holiday weekend was alerted to plans for a new coal mine at Mangatawhiri, near Auckland.

On this cold and breezy Queen’s Birthday afternoon, members of Auckland Coal Action got together to protest the new Fonterra coal mine. As at Easter, we hung banners and passed out leaflets to people in the line of cars on State Highway 2 as the vehicles passed the site of the proposed mine.  

We were heartened to receive lots of waves and beeps from the passing cars.

Police eventually arrived to deliver a warning for leafleting, but not before hundreds of flyers had been given out.  The banners, however, were allowed to stay up and will have been seen by thousands of people.

Queens Birthday encore rally against coal at Mangatawhiri

1 Jun

Looking for something fun, worthwhile, altruistic, artistically creative, and political, to do on the last day of Queens Birthday weekend? Undecided what to do? Sad at the damage climate change is doing to our world?

Following on from our highly successful protest at Easter, seen by around 2000 vehicles, we are returning to Mangatawhiri for an encore.

Why not join the fight against the number 1 preventable cause of global greenhouse gas emissions, coal?

When?
This holiday Monday, 3 June, starting at 1.30pm (set up from 1pm)

What?
Meet for a roadside rally against Fonterra’s proposed new coal mine.

Traffic

Who?
Auckland Coal Action is calling for the public to rally to protest Fonterra’s proposed new coal mine.

Where?
On the Auckland-bound side of State Highway 2 next to the site of the proposed new coal mine on the Mangatawhiri straight.

Meet after 1pm for roadside protest at the corner of Homestead Road (motorway overbridge) and Bell Road.

meeting-points

Coming from Auckland you will need to take the Mangatawhiri exit from State Highway 2 onto Mangatawhiri Road.

Coming from East, you will need to take the Golf Road exit.

Click here for a map of the area: http://www.wises.co.nz/l/waikato/mangatawhiri/bell+road/#c/-37.221375/175.148721/15/

Need a ride?
Contact Rosemary Segedin about carpooling. 0274873033.

What should I bring?

Bring your own banners and signs stating your opposition to climate change, and coal mining. Warm clothing is advised.

Some suggested messages:

  • No New Coal Mines
  • Coal Cooks the Climate
  • Back Off Fonterra
  • Use Wood Waste Fonterra
  • Coal Causes Drought
  • Coal = Climate Chaos = Drought
  • Coal Dried Milk = Climate Dried Paddocks
  • Coal Free Mangatawhiri

Or, invent your very own personal climate change message to present to the public and Fonterra.

What will I do?
There will be lots of returning holiday crowds for you to interact with, Bored out of their minds sitting in the traffic and interested by anything you do, to bring attention to the danger of coal to the environment.

Can anyone come?
Yes. If you are returning from your holiday why not stop and join the rally? You will only be stuck in traffic anyway!

Support the campaign against new coal mines!
Contact Geoff 09 528 9450, 027 384 7927 or Pat 09 296 8538, 027 705 9741

Motorists entertained by anti-coal protest

2 Apr

Motorists returning to Auckland from the Easter weekend on Monday afternoon from Coromandel or Tauranga were slowed to a crawl for much of the length of SH2. As they passed the site of Fonterra’s proposed new mine at Mangatawhiri they were entertained and informed by a resolute group of ACA folk.

Coal cooks the climate

“Fonterra plans coal mine here” was hung on a 2.4m x 1.2m billboard from the overbridge where the mine site starts, alongside one saying “Fonterra could use Wood Waste”.

The various anti-coal messages included “Coal causes drought” – very pertinent in the white parched fields of Mangatawhiri.

Traffic

A traffic count suggested a hundred cars were passing the site every six minutes so at that rate we talked to about 2,000 vehicles, most of them with multiple passengers. Further along where traffic neared a standstill leaflets were handed through the windows to those interested.

101_2139

The heartening thing was the huge number of toots of support we got, along with friendly waves and thumbs up. The few thumbs down were a tiny minority and none of them looked to be having a good time!

Eight people were kept very busy holding all this stuff but we had a great time. What did we learn? Next time start earlier in the day and have more people so we can run shifts!

101_2135 101_2146 101_2125 101_2131

Join roadside rally against coal

31 Mar

Looking for something fun, worthwhile, altruistic, artistically creative, and political, to do on the last day of your Easter Holiday? Undecided what to do? Sad at the damage climate change is doing to our world?

Why not join the fight against the number 1 preventable cause of global greenhouse gas emissions, coal?

When?
This holiday Monday, 1 April, starting at 2pm

What?
Meet for a roadside rally against Fonterra’s proposed new coal mine.

Who?
Auckland Coal Action and Coal Free Mangatawhiri are calling for the public to rally to protest Fonterra’s proposed new coal mine.

Where?
On the Auckland-bound side of State Highway 2 next to the site of the proposed new coal mine on the Mangatawhiri straight.

Meet before 2pm at 398 Mangatawhiri Road (between Jeff and Bell Road).

Meet after 2pm for roadside protest at the corner of Homestead Road (motorway overbridge) and Bell Road.

Meeting points

Coming from Auckland you will need to take the Mangatawhiri exit from State Highway 2 onto Mangatawhiri Road.

Coming from East, you will need to take the Golf Road exit.

Click here for a map of the area: http://www.wises.co.nz/l/waikato/mangatawhiri/bell+road/#c/-37.221375/175.148721/15/

Need a ride?
Contact us about carpooling.

What should I bring?

Bring your own banners and signs stating your opposition to climate change, and coal mining. Cold drinks, sunhats, and sunscreen are also advised.

Some suggested messages:

  • No New Coal Mines
  • Coal Cooks the Climate
  • Back Off Fonterra
  • Use Wood Waste Fonterra
  • Coal Causes Drought
  • Coal = Climate Chaos = Drought
  • Coal Dried Milk = Climate Dried Paddocks
  • Coal Free Mangatawhiri

Or, invent your very own personal climate change message to present to the public and Fonterra.

What will I do?
There will be lots of returning holiday crowds for you to interact with, Bored out of their minds sitting in the traffic and interested by anything you do, to bring attention to the danger of coal to the environment.

Can anyone come?
Yes. If you are returning from your holiday why not stop and join the rally? You will only be stuck in traffic anyway!

Support the campaign against new coal mines!
Contact Geoff 09 528 9450, 027 384 7927 or Pat 09 296 8538, 027 705 9741

Roadside Coal Protest at Mangatawhiri

30 Mar

Media Release – Coal Free Mangatawhiri and Auckland Coal Action

 Saturday 30th March 2013

Coal Free Mangatawhiri and Auckland Coal Action are joining forces on Monday to protest Fonterraʼs proposed new coal mine beside state highway 2.

Protesters will gather from 2pm at Mangatawhiri south of Auckland for the roadside rally protesting Fonterraʼs proposed new Mangatangi Mine.

They hope to engage with people queued in traffic on SH2 on their way back to Auckland.

Local residents, iwi and supporters from Auckland will be calling for ʻno new coalʼ and making the point that ʻcoal cooks the climateʼ in an awareness raising campaign against the proposed mine.

Public submissions on resource consents for the mine, closed this week with Waikato Regional Council and Waikato District Council. Hundreds of submissions were sent in by local residents, iwi and others opposing the proposed new coal mine at Mangatawhiri.

The resource consent applications were made by Fonterraʼs coal mining subsidiary Glencoal Energy Ltd, which is seeking consents for an open cast mine on farmland at Mangatawhiri right beside SH2.

If the mine goes ahead it will be highly visible to anyone driving along SH2. The mine is intended to produce 120,000 tonnes of coal a year to supply the Fonterra dairy factories at Waitoa, Hautapu and Te Awamutu. Fonterraʼs nearby Kopako coal mine is predicted to close in 2014.

Instead of opening a new coal mine in a farming community, locals believe Fonterra should phase out coal in favour of locally available cleaner burning, wood waste.

ENDS

Submission guide now out

9 Mar

Please click on this link to see our guidelines for making a submission to Waikato Regional Council and Waikato District Council on Glencoal’s proposed mine at Mangatawhiri

Goodwill and some anger at Mangatawhiri meeting

9 Mar

On Thursday 7 March twelve members of Auckland Coal Action joined local residents wanting to find out more about the Glencoal Energy (aka Fonterra) application to open a coal mine near State Highway 2 at Mangatawhiri.

On arrival we found a really impressive lineup of what looked like every car in Mangatawhiri parked outside the community hall: unfortunately, the big attraction proved to be the school swimming pool next door! But local organisers led by Bill Morris did a great job publicising the meeting with a sausage sizzle to begin with and the meeting was attended by close to 40 local residents.  Many arrived clutching our ACA leaflet, thanks to Bill, who had distributed it into 500 letterboxes – a fantastic achievement!

Mangatawhiri hall

Alan Sanson, The Mayor of the Waikato District Council, who chaired the meeting, opened it with a plea that all present show respect for those with different opinions – but the plea hardly seemed necessary as what followed was a model combination of information sharing and opinion airing – the true stuff of local democracy. Nevertheless, among those present were some who were clearly angry at the idea of a coal mine in their lovely rural district.

Site of proposed mine

Site of proposed mine

The expert speakers in the first part of the meeting made a strong combination. Dr Wendy Ring,  who has studied the higher rates of ordinary illnesses and deaths associated with coal mining in America, showed how every stage of coal mining from extraction to transport to processing to burning to water and waste disposal increases health hazards for surrounding populations, particularly among those already vulnerable, like asthmatics or heart patients.

Jim Salinger then spoke on the causes and dangers of climate change. Surrounded as we all were by once-green Waikato pastures parched to Hawke’s Bay brown by the current drought, everyone had to be impressed by his graphs and maps showing the predicted effects on rainfall of climate change not just in the Waikato but all over the North (and much of the South) Island.

Jeanette Fitzsimons explained how to make submissions to the two councils (Waikato Regional and Waikato District) handling Glencoal’s RMA consents application, and a lively question and answer session followed, giving residents had a chance to ask some searching questions and to air their concerns.

Green MP Catherine Delahunty also spoke, using her knowledge of Waihi residents’ struggles to argue that the consents process should be used to ensure that commitments to monitor water or air quality continue to be carried out if the mine goes ahead.

Bill Morris, however, advocated making sure the mine never does go ahead, while the local kaumatua who closed the meeting expressed his concern about threats to the health of local children from windborne micro-particles of dust.

ACA member Geoff Mason’s revelation that he has photographed uncovered trucks carrying fly ash  from Fonterra’s factories made quite an impression in the final stages of the meeting. (Fly ash is the ash left over from burning coal.)

Uncovered fly ash truck, dumping at Kopako 3 mine.

Airborne dust from fly ash, product of burning coal.

How many of those present were open to the message about climate change, though, given the amount of misinformation and “debate” still flying around on the web and media regarding this crucially important issue, remains to be seen.

Auckland Coal Action and Mangatawhiri residents may have different motives for opposing this mine, but clearly we can help each other to achieve the same objective – no coal mine at Mangatawhiri!

Fonterra ‘tasting’ serves a side of coal to passers-by

5 Mar

“Would you like to taste some of Fonterra’s fine products? Here you are – it comes with coal!”

Orientation Week seemed a good time to stage a bit of street theatre outside Fonterra’s HQ just down hill from Auckland University. Four waitresses in frilly white aprons and caps offered passers-by (mainly students) samples of Fonterra milk and cheese – then popped a piece of coal on top.

IMG_1539

Do you realise your cheese comes with coal?

It was a great conversation starter about the proposed new coal mine at Mangatawhiri and how Fonterra could use wood chip in its dairy factories instead of coal. Most people agreed, and most were horrified, having no idea that Fonterra was such a major coal burner.


Police and media presence

Police were out in force, obviously called by Fonterra who found a few milkmaids really scary. The cops looked a bit embarrassed about being there at all.2013-03-05 16.10.33

Also, interested in the action were a number of media outlets. Waikato Times did a preview, Radio BFM did an interview, a rural TV programme turned up and the NZ Herald’s Elements environmental supplement ran a piece too.

Why target Fonterra now?

Glencoal, wholly owned by Fonterra, has applied for consents for an open cast mine on farmland at Mangatawhiri on SH2. It’s not an easy place for them as it would be highly visible to anyone driving from Auckland to Tauranga or the Coromandel. Planned to produce 120,000 tonnes a year, it would take over from the Kopako 3 mine which currently supplies the dairy factories at Waitoa, Hautapu and Te Awamutu. With the Kopako coal running out in 2014, it’s a good time to start the phase out of coal in favour of waste wood which is locally available.

Local opinion

Local farmers and residents are not overly happy about living next to an open cast mine and a public meeting has been organised jointly by local people and Auckland Coal Action for 7 March. Locals will hear Jim Salinger speak on the expected impacts of climate change on farming in that area, as well as speakers on the health effects of coal mining and how to make a submission under the RMA on the consent hearing.

Watch this space for more.

Locals to host public meeting on Mangatangi Mine proposals

4 Mar

This event has been and gone. Our article on how the meeting went is here.

                                                                                                                            

This Thursday, locals will host a public meeting to discuss and share information about the proposed coal mine at Mangatawhiri (Mangatangi Mine).

Anyone is welcome to attend.

WHEN: 7 pm, Thursday 7 March 2013

WHERE: Mangatawhiri Hall, cnr of Mangatawhiri and McKenzie Roads, Mangatawhiri (directions below). See location on Google Maps.

SPEAKERS & TOPICS:

  • Dr Wendy Ring on international research into the health effects of coal mining in the local neighbourhood.
  • Dr Jim Salinger on the role of coal in climate change and the expected effects of climate change on farming in New Zealand.
  • Jeanette Fitzsimons on how to make a submission under the Resource Management Act on the proposed mine.

Chair: Peter Young, JP

DIRECTIONS FROM AUCKLAND:

Head South on SH1 and turn off onto SH2 towards Tauranga and Coromandel. After about 5 minutes you reach the new section of SH2 where the speed limit goes up to 100. The old SH2 goes off to the left and is Mangatawhiri Rd.

Veer left on to Mangatawhiri Rd and soon you pass The Castle on your left, the former cafe now closed because of road rerouting.

Just past the Castle is a turn to your left (McKenzie Road) and on that corner is the Mangatawhiri Hall.

See location on Google Maps.