A campaign is picking up to oppose this huge mine in a very special area of ecological values and natural beauty on public conservation land. This precious area does not have the protection afforded to National Parks, so the Crown Minerals Act effectively trumps the Conservation Act. Is that what the people of New Zealand want and expect?
A huge coal mine that will destroy vast tracts of rare sandstone erosion pavement along with the rare native wildlife that depends on it, as well as significant archaeological features?
And there remains the question mark over any further use of coal, let alone the opening up of new mines. The advice from those who know is that the only chance for the planet to step back from the brink of irreversible climate change is to stop burning coal.
But here, in clean green 100% pure New Zealand, landscape and habitat destruction and contribution to climate change appear to go hand in hand.
What can you do? You can write to the Minister of Conservation and tell her what you think.
Have a look at the Forest & Bird website for more information: http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/what-we-do/branches/west-coast.