Climate sign trail leads to Fonterra AGM

25 Nov

Shareholders arriving at Fonterra’s AGM this morning were shown the way by a trail of signs set up by Auckland Coal Action. Despite the cooperative’s byline of ‘sustainable dairying’, Fonterra has now overtaken the Huntly power station as the second largest coal user in the country and is planning on opening two huge coal boilers at Studholme in Canterbury. (Submissions close on Friday.)

ACA put up a sign trail just outside Fonterra’s private road, after having first put it up on their private road and being sent off by a security guard. However, the second spot was just as good – traffic had to pass slowly, having just crossed the railway line and needing to than make a sharp right turn.

The five signs said:

  • Biggest threat to NZ farming is climate change
  • New coal boilers at Studholme = 40 more years of coal
  • Waste wood boilers – proven technology
  • Will Fonterra gamble, with shareholders’ funds, on no carbon charge in next 40 years?
  • Fonterra decides: for sustainability, or climate destruction?

The Fonterra AGM was held at their dairy factory at Waitoa on the southern Hauraki Plains, near Matamata.

Fonterra’s coal use under the spotlight at Mystery Creek

14 Jun

Media release from Auckland Coal Action 14 June 2015

Mystery Creek field day visitors were yesterday greeted with leaflets advertising that Fonterra is about to get out of using coal to dry its milk powder.

Members of Auckland Coal Action handed out nearly 2000 fliers to Mystery Creek visitors yesterday, fliers that announced Fonterra was getting out of coal and switching to the “fuel of the future” – woodchips – instead, and had small bags of woodchips attached.   They invited people to ask Fonterra about their fuel for drying milk powder.

Spokesperson Jeanette Fitzsimons said ” If New Zealand is to do its fair share on climate change, Fonterra just has to stop burning coal. We wanted people interested in farming to see that there is an alternative. For two years we’ve been trying to have a conversation with Fonterra to get away from coal – and they’re not listening, so today we thought we’d try another way of starting that conversation.”

Fonterra uses more than half a million tonnes of coal a year to dry milk powder, and this total is growing as it builds new plants. At the same time NZ farmers are being devastated by severe droughts yet climate change has only just started to make itself felt.

“Climate change is the biggest threat to our farming future, medium and long term” said Fitzsimons.

Residues left on forest landing sites after harvesting trees can be chipped and partly dried and used as boiler fuel. There are companies willing to do this and it happens on a smaller scale – for example at Otago University and some schools. There are companies that will source, collect, process and deliver to markets. We know Fonterra has been in touch with them but nothing has happened because coal is so cheap.

Coal is the biggest contributor to climate change, worldwide. “Coal is cheap because it doesn’t have to pay for the environmental and health damage it does” said Fitzsimons. “It is effectively subsidised by the environment, and in the end by all of us”.

“Meanwhile New Zealand’s domestic coal use is being driven by Fonterra, which has signed huge contracts with Bathurst Resources, and Solid Energy.”

Fonterra was sufficiently worried about its reputation that Security Services and police were called to remove the leafleters, not just from the Fielddays site, but from the public roads surrounding it.

Auckland Coal Action is committed to phasing out coal to protect the climate, in a way that allows workers and communities to develop alternative forms of economic development. It has never advocated for the closure of any existing mine.

Contact: Jeanette Fitzsimons Auckland Coal Action 07 868 6641


Your days of burning coal are numbered few

14 Jun

A tongue-in-cheek poem inspired by yesterday’s action.

The plucky band of offbeats stand before
the wondrous fair that farmers are drawn to,
to tell Fonterra – ever seeking more,
their days of burning coal are numbered few.
Not shamed enough by countless herds of cows
which munch grass, ruminate, and belch methane;
the bosses tally dollars, and welsh on vows
to ease the burden of our climate’s pain.
In step the plucky offbeats bearing fliers,
to tell the masses ’bout Fonterra true,
to play the role of yesteryears’ town criers,
since mainstream media stories give no clue.
Or maybe really play the role of jester,
instead of letting unkept promise fester

Exciting announcement from Fonterra at Field Days

13 Jun

Happening now: Visitors to the Mystery Creek Fielddays are being greeted today with 2,000 fliers announcing Fonterra’s plan to convert all its coal fired boilers to run on “fuel for the future” – wood chip. The material is waste from forestry operations and there are huge quantities in NZ forests which can be harvested, dried and chipped creating hundreds of jobs. Each flier is attached to a small bag of wood chip.

If New Zealand is to do its fair share on climate Fonterra must stop burning coal, the biggest contributor to climate change. Auckland Coal Action has been trying to have a conversation with Fonterra about cleaning up its boilers but so far they are not listening. We hope Fielddays visitors will have that conversation too, at the Fonterra tent.

Watch this site for developments during the day!

Fonterra fuel for the future

Government consultation on climate change – in Auckland this Monday night

16 May

For the first time since being elected, the National Government has responded to public pressure by engaging in a public consultation on climate change – with very short notice and limited time to present your views. This is your chance to tell the government in person that their policy of agricultural intensification, expected to increase New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions by around 50% over the next 20 years (after they have already increased nearly 50% in the last 20 years) is totally unacceptable.
The Auckland meeting is this Monday night at Rendezvous Hotel, corner of Vincent Street and Mayoral Drive (opposite the police station) 7pm



FREE film screening: “Hot Air” Thursday 5 March 7PM at Auckland University

6 Feb

How big business persuaded the New Zealand government to adopt one of the worst climate change policies in the world.

A free documentary screening at OGGB4, Owen Glenn Building, University of Auckland, 5 March 7pm.

Hosted by Auckland Coal Action and Engineers for Social Responsibility. Donations appreciated.


Auckland Anniversary Day protest

6 Feb


Once again, Auckland Coal Action were back at Mangatawhiri on the last day of the long weekend, to protest Fonterra’s use of coal at its Waikato milk plants. As usual, traffic was slow so thousands of motorists had plenty of time to read and think about our several signs.

Auckland Coal Action Annual General Meeting, Saturday 7 February 1pm in Mt. Eden

1 Feb

Auckland Coal Action will hold its annual general meeting at the Friends Meeting House, corner of Sylvan Ave and Mt. Eden Road, Mt. Eden at 1pm this Saturday.

Anyone with an interest in positive action to prevent climate change is welcome.

Agenda available on request:

Auckland Anniversary Monday protest 3pm against reopening of coal mine at Mangatawhiri

24 Jan

Fonterra has indefinitely deferred opening of it’s new coal mine at Mangatawhiri, however we believe it plans to purchase coal from Solid Energy’s nearby Kopako coal mine, currently closed but soon to reopen thanks to Fonterra.

Auckland Coal Action says Fonterra should start switching their boilers to renewable, environmentally-friendly biomass sources such as wood waste.

This Auckland Anniversary Monday we will be back at  Mangatawhiri (only 45 minutes from the CBD) to make thousands of motorists returning to Auckland aware of the mine and increase pressure on Fonterra to keep it closed and clean up their act.


Auckland Anniversary Monday 26 January, starting at 3pm

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

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

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

Coming from Auckland you will need to take the Mangatawhiri exit from State Highway 2 onto Mangatawhiri Road (incorrectly shown as Mangatangi Rd on Google Maps).

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


What should I bring?

Sunblock, something to drink, rain gear and warm clothes. Check this website for updates.

We have heaps of large banners for you to hold up.

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 Pat 021 066-9009 or Geoff (09)5289450 for carpooling / transport options.

Photos from Sunday’s “Heads in the Sand” Protest with

8 Dec

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