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Forest & Bird will be heard before the High Court in Invercargill on 18-19 July on its application for judicial review of Southland District Council’s decision to grant access for new coal exploration and mining. 

The Council granted access to council-owned land near Nightcaps to New Brighton Collieries Limited, a subsidiary of Bathurst Resources.  

Forest & Bird’s case is that the Southland District Council failed to properly consider the implications of climate change, the impact climate change will have on the district, including on future generations, and that the public was excluded from the decision-making process, 
Forest & Bird Youth leaders George Hobson and Gemma Marnane have provided affidavits in relation to Forest & Bird’s case.     

Affidavits have also been provided by Professor Emeritus of Sustainable Energy and Climate Mitigation at Massey University, Ralph Sims, and Professor in Earth Sciences at the Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington, Tim Naish.  

The case begins at 10am on Monday 18 July with Forest & Bird as the plaintiff and Southland District Council and New Brighton Collieries Limited as first and second defendants.  
Media may be able to attend the hearing in person or via a Virtual Meeting Room. 

  • Forest & Bird filed papers for the case last year after Forest & Bird Youth led a call by nine of New Zealand’s environmental organisations urging Southland District Council to reconsider its decision to allow access for coal mining exploration.   

  • Forest & Bird has previously called on the Government to stop all new and expanded coal mines and the organisation has spent decades trying to protect the ecologically diverse Buller Plateau from opencast coal mining operations. This includes Happy Valley on the Stockton Plateau, the mothballed Escarpment Mine on the Denniston Plateau, and ongoing legal challenges against a new proposed mine at Te Kuha

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