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Source: Greenpeace

People from all over the country are expected at the 8 June ‘ March for Nature’ against the coalition Government’s fast track legislation.
Greenpeace, Forest & Bird, Communities Against the Fast Track, Coromandel Watchdog, Kiwis Against Seabed Mining, and a host of environmental and community groups have organised the march, which kicks off with a rally at 1pm this Saturday, June 8, at Aotea Square. As march day approaches, more groups are joining.
Buses are coming from Coromandel and Raglan. Groups in Hamilton are organising to fill the Te Huia train to demonstrate their support in keeping the line open on their way to the March.
Well-known New Zealanders are supporting the call to action, with singer-songwriter Benee giving a shout-out from LA, actors and veterans of the 2010 March Against Mining Robyn Malcolm and Lucy Lawless adding their voices, and a who’s who of New Zealand music helping raise funds for the Ours Not Mines campaign to stop mining in the Coromandel.
Robyn Malcolm, who was a key part of the 2010 March Against Mining says, “What sets New Zealand apart from the rest of the world is not our mines, it’s our incomparable and iconic natural beauty. It’s our land, our ocean and our precious native taonga. It’s devastating and embarrassing that in 2024 our leaders are not prioritising this. Instead, it’s more mines, dams and roads.
“But we won in 2010 when the Key Government threatened to mine the best conservation land in Aotearoa. The Government backed down, and that land remains protected. Now we must do it again. I urge people to join me on 8 June to join the March for Nature.”
Greenpeace executive director Russel Norman says, “The march for nature is going to be big. People from across the political divide are appalled at the coalition Government’s reckless assault on environmental protection and horrified to see so much conservation land under threat again.
“Many of us fought long and hard to stop mining on conservation land and to stop new oil and gas exploration permits . Together we stopped the John Key Government mining Schedule 4 conservation land, and we’ve stopped the seabed mining industry getting a foothold here in Aotearoa. It’s been many years of work, by many people and groups, but we’ve gained critical protection for forests, oceans and fresh water.
“To see that all put at risk by the fast track bill is disturbing I think Christopher Luxon has underestimated how deeply New Zealanders care about nature and about the democratic process.
“Nearly 50,000 submissions were made opposing the fast-track bill. A Ngāti Toa-organised hīkoi opposing the fast-track bill has already marched on Parliament, and there’s more to come on 8 June.”
Richard Capie of Forest & Bird says, “I know Kiwis of all political stripes feel frustrated and angry about the anti-nature stance this government is taking. we hear a lot of ‘We didn’t vote for this…’ sentiment. But we can do something and that is come together and stand up for the thing we all love and connect to – nature. This march is a way we can give nature a voice.
“The government needs to hear loud and clear that the fast-track bill needs to be stopped. We have heard repeatedly how it ignores science, overrides conservation protections, and undermines democracy.
“Precious natural places that New Zealanders have spent years successfully protecting, right up to the Supreme Court, are now back in the firing line.
“The pristine mountain-top kiwi habitat of Te Kuha could become an opencast coal mine; the fernbird habitat of Ruahine Forest Park flooded for a dam; and mining could totally destroy the seabed off Taranaki, in blue whale and Māui dolphin habitat.
“We can also see that fast-track is just the first cab off the rank. The Government has also announced a minerals strategy that aims to increase New Zealand’s fossil fuel exports. And only last week it proposed more resource management changes that will stop new protections for high-value biodiversity areas. Its also signalled changes that are a giant leap backwards for looking after our streams, rivers and lakes. We need to draw a line in the sand.
“New Zealanders care deeply about our environment, about a safe climate and a flourishing natural world. With this Government, we are on a fast-track to losing both, and that’s why we are going to be marching for nature.”