Denniston Plateau

Nelson to Westport road – if you build it, they will come?

by Pete

Buller’s local government is set to debate whether a new road link between Westport and Nelson should be investigated as a means to boost tourism in its district.

The proposal to evaluate whether a 56km road running from Little Wanganui through to the Motueka Valley would be feasible has been backed by the Tasman and Buller mayors.

A discussion about the motion will be on the agenda at a Buller District Council this week.

“The council needs the facts before any emotional debate emerges, and if tourism is going to develop in Buller and contribute to Buller’s economic future to help replace its historical dependence on mining, we need a northern link road,” Buller Mayor Garry Howard said.

The road would largely follow the route of the existing Wangapeka Track through Kahurangi National Park.

If the proposal to investigate is approved, it would require environmental assessment, cost/benefit analysis and community impact reports to be completed.

Personally I am strongly opposed to cutting a road through virgin forest park, but not necessarily for the reasons you might expect.

The idea behind this road is that Wesport is dying.  As their economy is mostly coal driven, and coal being on the way out, they’re looking at tourism as their saviour.   But, the problem is that Westport and beyond is a bit on a dead-end road, so they don’t benefit from through traffic like Greymouth, and a lesser degree Hokitika.   Read more »

More good news for the economy

No doubt the Greens will be against it but for those on the West Coast the news that Bathhurst has gained consent to start mining on the Denniston Plateau will be well received.

Australian miner Bathurst Resources has hopes of gaining access to the Escarpment coal mining site by Christmas after receiving final Environment Court approval for the controversial project on West Coast conservation land.

The court’s final approval was granted yesterday. It had said on August 8 that it intended to grant consent to the Escarpment mine on the Denniston Plateau, near Westport. However, the approval may be appealed. An appeal must be lodged within 15 days.

Buller District Council Mayor Garry Howard said locals were reluctant to rely on the decision because many others had been appealed, stretching out the process for two years.

Howard said the council had been represented at many of the appeals and that had cost ratepayers. The mine would be a national resource so appeals against it should be funded by central Government, he said.

The Government welcomed the court’s decision, labelling it exactly the type of investment the country needed to create jobs and higher incomes.

Of course the Greens are upset…they always are.

The Green Party decried the sacrificing of the Denniston Plateau and its unique landscape and threatened species for an open cast coal mine.

The Greens are luddites, anti-progress in any form.

Nicola Toki: troughing with the enemy

A few days ago I posted a story about Nicola Toki and the rank hypocrisy of militant conservationists. Seems apparent that I’m not the only one that detests this bullshit, as a reader emailed Cam the day after:


Why are farmer levies from the Animal Health Board funding treehuggers like Toki, who then slag off farmers or campaign against farming?

Is this not the same Toki who is employed as a ‘Pest Control Education and Advocacy at the AHB?’

She seems keen to take the farmer’s coin to pay for her log burner, much of that coming from dairy her mates at Hook & Bullet (Fish & Game) & Forest & Bird detest.

So I got digging since I couldn’t recall off the top of my head whether or not Toki who says “some of my dearest friends are farmers”  to see what I could come up with: Read more »

Nicola Toki trips over her own tongue

If there’s one thing militant conservationists tree/snail huggers are becoming increasingly notorious for, it is rank hypocrisy. When Nikola Toki isn’t busy jumping up and down about Bathurst Resources plan to mine the Denniston Plateau, opposing the creation of jobs and its flow on effects for the economy, she’s busy burning solid fuel and polluting the atmosphere with smoke.


Read more »

Denniston Plateau coal mine appeal thrown out

Forest and Bird’s appeal against the Denniston Plateau coal mine has been tossed out.

If he’s true to form we can no doubt expect Nasty Norman to threaten Bathurst with an instant closure of Denniston should the Greens form a government in 2014.

Comments please Damian O’Connor – is it to be jobs for Coasters or will you be kowtowing to the Greens?

Conservationists fighting a decision to allow an Australian mining company to dig for coal on the West Coast’s Denniston Plateau have suffered a major setback today with a High Court appeal being thrown out.

The Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society appealed interim resource consent given to Bathurst Resources Limited for an 188ha open-cast mine on the plateau near Westport.

It argued that the Environment Court did not give proper consideration to the possibility of there being two open-cast coal mines simultaneously working the area when it gave Bathurst the go-ahead.  Read more »

Something actually quite sensible from Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan has written something that is actually quite sensible. He talks about the Denniston decision and why the green taliban will never be happy.

The Denniston Plateau deal shows that National and the mining industry have learned their lesson from their last attempt to mine on conservation land.

Sure, it was a tad cynical of the Government to make this latest decision the day before the rules on public notification changed. However, the basic thrust of the plan is sound: the money generated from harming one part of the conservation estate can be used to make the rest better.

Overall, if the Government’s plan comes off, we will be left with a better conservation estate. In a time of limited budgets and pressing conservation priorities, such deals make sense.  Read more »

Michael Laws on the Green Taliban

Michael Laws rips into the green taliban opposed to the Denniston mining plan:

In the wake of the Government’s commonsense decision to allow opencast coal mining on the Denniston Plateau, it was no surprise that the greenie lobby would scream betrayal.

The mining will occur on conservation land – a title that means not much except that no-one lives there, and no-one wants to.

The mine will occupy less than 5 per cent of the total Denniston conservation area, which doesn’t have national park status.

More importantly, the approval granted to Australian miners Bathurst Resources will create more than 400 jobs, rejuvenate an emaciated economy and add some extraneous conservation measures like a 35-kilometre predator fence. In short, it’s a win-win.

Yes it is. Jobs, growth, earnings all in an area desperate for all three.  Read more »

Labour supports West Coast mining; laments lost opportunities

Well.  How’s that going to work out in a coalition government with the Greens?

Conservation Spokesperson
West Coast-Tasman MP
Denniston deal a lost opportunity
The Government has missed an opportunity to allow conservation groups and the mining company Bathurst to reach a compromise over the Denniston Plateau by riding roughshod over the process, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.

“There was a real possibility of a win-win for both sides that would have seen mining go ahead while other areas were protected for conservation purposes. A compromise could have been reached but the Government has stepped in at the last minute and blown that out of the water.

“It is so desperate to get runs on the board after the Solid Energy shambles and the loss of hundreds of mining jobs that it has overridden the process.

Read more »

Snails, then Ducks and now Wetas halt progress

The bush and its inhabitants deserve our concern and protection, but at the end of the day people in NZ should be able to work, eat and live in the country, even if according to Gaia we humans are a destructive species that should die out.

One of the last chances for jobs on the West Coast (a SAFE open-cast mine compared to underground mines) is now under attack because there is a possibility that a weta  might  be threatened.

Environmental lobby Forest & Bird says a new species of cave weta found on the West Coast’s Denniston Plateau is another piece of unique ecology which could be lost if an open-cast coal mine is built there.

Forest & Bird spokesperson Debs Martin said the new species of weta shows there is still more to learn about the ecological system on the plateau, and it’s not yet known what would happen to it if an open-cast mine is built.

Maybe it’s not yet known what will happen to the weta, but it is easy to say what will happen if this and other activity is banned just in case the weta doesn’t like it – the people of the West Coast will be on the bones of their backsides &/or the dole because there are no jobs.

Once again the Greenie wankers stop this country from progressing.