1.jpgGreenpeace Press Release -  Lucy Lawless and Robyn Malcolm link climate and mining in Paparoa
April 23, 2010

New Zealand -- Sign On campaign ambassadors Lucy Lawless and Robyn Malcolm were at the site of a proposed coal mine in the Paparoa National Park today, drawing the link between the Government's Schedule 4 mining plans and climate change.

The pair also spoke with tourists at Punakaiki about their views on New Zealand's "clean green" reputation, and the role it had played in their decision to visit.

"The National Government wants to destroy 3,000 ha of the beautiful Paparoa National Park to mine coal, which will be burnt in New Zealand and will increase our emissions (1)," said Robyn Malcolm. "If dug up and burnt, the coal will produce CO2 equal to half of all New Zealand's annual emissions.

"Their mining proposals are like something from another age," said Malcolm. "They seem to have been hatched in a complete vacuum. They've taken no account of public opinion, Kiwi values and the realities of climate change."

"I've spoken to a lot of tourists down here, who came to New Zealand on the basis of its natural beauty, and who think John Key would be absolutely crazy to allow this mining to go ahead," said Lucy Lawless. "This land is held in trust on behalf of all New Zealanders. To mine
it would be unethical and not smart."

Greenpeace political adviser Geoff Keey said the schedule 4 plans were just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the Government's hopes for a fossil fuel boom. "We are facing a new era of dirty coal under this Government, at a time when the world is moving to find alternatives
due to climate change.

"Overall mining plans under National (including coal outside of Schedule 4) could see up to 9 billion tonnes of coal mined - leading to some 13 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from burning - over two times the annual CO2 emissions of the USA.

"This would blow out New Zealand's emissions, undermine our clean, green reputation and leave the taxpayer holding the carbon bill. This is a 19th century economic vision that will damage the New Zealand economy in the 21st century."

 "The mining is indicative of a bigger issue facing New Zealand," said Malcolm. "There is a fast-growing, new way of viewing future economic growth and development. The economic leaders in the 21st century will be those who use new clean, green technology as a way to move forward while protecting what little untouched world we have left.

"Unfortunately our Government does not seem to have grasped this."

Greenpeace, along with a range of other groups and NGOs, is holding a march against the mining plans in Auckland on May 1st. See www.dontunderminenz.org for more information.

Free, high resolution images of the Paparoa trip can be found at