Mana joins opposition to new Waikato coal mine

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Opponents and supporters of Fonterra’s plans to excavate a new open cast coal mine in Mangatangi are gathering at the Mangatangi Maraeon Mondaymorning at8:30for an official welcome onto the Marae.

2012-10-13-16-41-24-5In a response to local iwi concerns about the mine, the Waikato Regional Council in a possibly unprecedented move have agreed to hold the hearings into the resource management consent for the new coal mine on the Marae, where for the next three weeks the two sides to the debate will square off.

The Mangatangi Marae Committee have released a statement opposing the mine.

Pat O’Dea the Mana Spokesperson For Climate Change says that this mine and all new coal mines must be stopped if we are to ever have any chance of arresting climate change in this country.

O’Dea said it is no coincidence that local iwi are in the forefront of the campaign to protect the environment.

This reflects overseas developments in which indigenous people’s led movements like “Idle No More” have spearheaded environmental protection.

The local iwi have already suffered many indignities forced on them by development from the confiscation of their lands 150 years ago and the loss of the Mangatangi River 50 years ago which was dammed without compensation to make the Mangatangi Reservoir, (the biggest reservoir in the country) to supply the City of Auckland with drinking water. As well as this, an existing nearby quarry is already causing problems for the Marae.

Local Pakeha farmers and lifestyle block owners are also opposed to the mine. And have formed a local action group “Coal Free Mangatawhiri” .

Chaired by local landowner and Papakura butcher Bill Morris Coal Free Mangatawhiri are also rallying their members to gather on theMonday.

An Auckland group Auckland Coal Action and Greenpeace will also be gathering for the official welcome onto the Marae at8:30am Monday 26 August.

Pat O’Dea, Mana Spokesperson for the environment,

027 705-9741

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