So, I’m back from my holiday (which was amazing, thanks for asking). While I was down South, one of the things I did was attend a hui for the Save Happy Valley Coalition.
Now, if you’re from Wellington, you may be wondering whats so special about the rubbish tip, but the Happy Valley I’m talking about is not the oh-so-stinky one located on the South-Western tip of the capital, but rather a beautiful & pristine wetland ecosystem on the West Coast of the South Island, just north of Westport in the upper Waimangaroa Valley.
Located in Happy Valley are 10 great spotted Kiwi (Roa), the giant carnivorous land snail Powelliphanta “patrickensis” and over 10 other rare and endangered native species. Happy Valley is one of the last places of it’s type in all of Aotearoa, with most wetlands having been drained long ago. For these reasons and more, it is vitally important that we protect the area.
But what are we protecting it from, I hear you ask. The answer to this question is the Labour-led government and Solid Energy, a state-owned coal mining company. Solid Energy (with the collusion of DOC) plans to create an open cast coal mine in this area, which will destroy the habitat for these species (on top of the damaging effects the coal will have once burnt!)
The Save Happy Valley Coalition is about to start an indefinate occupation of Happy Valley in opposition to Solid Energy’s plans. Over 60 people are expected for the opening weekend, so keep a look out for media reports, or, even better, head down yourself!
You’ll be able to follow the occupation by looking at the occupation blog which was set up yesterday by yours truly.
Resistance energy is solid! Save Happy Valley!