Solid Energy sue Save Happy Valley Coalition for revealing environmental destruction

March 1, 2007

Yesterday, the Save Happy Valley Coalition released a report into Solid Energy’s environmental destruction in 2006. Within a few hours, Solid Energy had filed in the High Court for an injunction to prevent the release of the report. They are suing SHVC, it’s media spokesperson and the host of it’s website for defamation, injurious falsehood and a breach of section 9 of the fair trading act.

The report is an honest and factual account of the destruction caused by the state-owned coal-miner. Obviously, the truth about their activities is the last thing Solid Energy want anyone to know or be talking about, so it is important that the report is spread far and wide.

You can download the report in .pdf format in two parts here: Part 1 and Part 2.

Solid Energy files injunction against Save Happy Valley Coalition

Press Release: Save Happy Valley Coalition

1st March 2007

Save Happy Valley Coalition says bring it on!

The Save Happy Valley Coalition is refusing to remove a satirical document from their website after Solid Energy filed an injunction application for defamation.

The State-owned coal company filed the injunction at the High Court in Christchurch against the climate justice group yesterday afternoon after the group posted the satirical Solid Energy Environmental Report at http://www.savehappyvalley.org.nz/envtreport

Solid Energy is claiming that “the plaintiff has suffered and is likely to suffer damage or injury to its reputation as a result of the defendants’ actions.”

Save Happy Valley Coalition spokesperson Frances Mountier says that the Coalition has welcomed the defamation case as an opportunity to debate the environmental record of the State-owned climate changer.

“Solid Energy’s injunction just goes to show how far a well resourced bully – that can’t take a joke – is willing to go,” she said. “They’ve used tax-payers money to destroy kiwi-habitat, hire surveillance companies to spy on us, used explosives dangerously near one of our protest campsites and now they’ve got high-paid lawyers to stop us from having a bit of fun whilst raising awareness about climate change and environmental destruction. We’re not going to remove it – Solid Energy, bring it on!”

Mountier said that while the group’s report is only a bit of a laugh, the dirty-coal company’s real environmental record is no joke.

“Solid Energy is polluting rivers, destroying kiwi habitat, driving an endemic snail to extinction, and is annually putting as much CO2 into out atmosphere as every vehicle in New Zealand. Their over-the-top reaction simply confirms that deep down, they know that we are right.”.

The injunction is expected to be heard in court today or tomorrow.

The report – which is can legally be distributed and published until such time as an injunction may be granted – is available at

http://www.savehappyvalley.org.nz/resources/envrep1.pdf

http://www.savehappyvalley.org.nz/resources/envrep2.pdf

//ENDS

Notes

1. The Environment Report begins:
This year Solid Energy successfully extracted more than 4.7 million tonnes of coal, contributing 10.3 million tonnes of climate-changing carbon dioxide to the global atmosphere. We made progress with our mountain top removal project (despite significant delays), and used a legal loophole in Court to continue driving an endemic New Zealand species to extinction without prosecution. We worked closely with Helen Clark to ensure that the launch of New Zealand’s climate change policy made more reference to ‘clean coal’ than renewable energy. Solid Energy is a state owned enterprise, so our dividend goes straight to the Government. On a community level, we also succeeded in having more power than ever at our Stockton Environmental Consultative Group meetings (conveniently set up to ‘consult’ local community organisations and environmental groups).

It then proceeds to detail in a very factual manner the damage that the state owned coal miner has caused to waterways, biodiversity, ecosystems, local communities, critically endangered species and the climate.

2. The Save Happy Valley Coalition is a collection of groups and individuals from around Aotearoa committed to stopping Solid Energy’s proposed open cast coal mine in Happy Valley (Upper Waimangaroa Valley) on the West Coast. They work to raise awareness on climate change in New Zealand. They are also deeply concerned about the fate of all endangered species under threat from Solid Energy, including Powelliphanta “Augustus” at the nearby Stockton mine. The Coalition is made up of West Coast locals, students, workers and the general public. The group has a track record of creative protests and lock-ons as well as producing a variety of informative media. They have been occupying Happy Valley since 28th January 2006. More information about the coalition and its history can be found at http://www.savehappyvalley.org.nz/aboutus.htm


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