Denniston: "John Key says mine, we say never"

22 Mar 2012

The voices of about 240 people rang clear on the Wellington streets yesterday: “You say mine, we say ours!”

Bathhurst Protest March 2012

Prime Minister John Key, escorted by security, made his way through the roaring crowd on Wednesday evening to officiate the opening of Australian mining company Bathurst Resources’ new Wellington office.

Bathurst Resources intends to turn the precious and environmentally-unique Denniston Plateau, near Westport into the country’s largest coal mine.

Forest & Bird Conservation Advocate Nicola Toki said Key’s presence yesterday was a clear indication of where his Government’s allegiances lie.

“The Prime Minister has made it very clear that he supports the activities of Bathurst Resources on New Zealand’s public conservation land, and we are concerned that his actions are intended to influence the Department of Conservation into agreeing to access for the mine,” she said.

“The Denniston Plateau is 92 per cent conservation land. I own it. You own it. Your kids own it. The plateau is the last remaining habitat that looks like that, and has wildlife like that. When we lose the Denniston Plateau, we lose that kind of habitat forever.”

Green MPs Eugenie Sage, Gareth Hughes and Catherine Delahunty joined the protest organised by Forest & Bird, Coal Action Network Aotearoa, WWF, Greenpeace, 350, Generation Zero and OraTaiao.