Aotearoa: Save Happy Valley Coalition continues fight, threatened with legal action
In Aotearoa/New Zealand on Wednesday 28th February the Save Happy Valley Coalition (SHVC) released an environmental report on Solid Energy for 2006. Just a few hours after the release of the report, which is damning of the state-owned coal miners treatment of both the environment and its employees, Solid Energy filed in the High Court, seeking an injunction to prevent further distribution of the document.
Solid Energy are also suing three parties - Powelliphanta Augustus Incorporated (a group including some SHVC members which took Solid Energy to court recently), Frances Mountier (an SHVC spokesperson) and Simon Oosterman (who runs Enzyme, which hosts the SHVC website) on three counts: Defamation, Injurious Falsehood and a breach of Section 9 of the Fair Trading Act.
SHVC spokesperson Frances Mountier has called for Solid Energy to "bring it on!", stating that the Coalition will continue to spread the environment report. "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", she said.
Recently, SHVC activists in Auckland disrupted a speech by Solid Energy CEO Don Elder, while Wellington SHV protested at the opening of the new Department of Conservation headquarters against DoC's assistance to Solid Energy. The Coalition has also maintained two occupations in the South Island, one at Mt Augustus since February 6th (Aotearoa Indymedia Features: 1 | 2) and one at Happy Valley since January 28th, 2006.