MAC: Mines and Communities

Coal company's NGO injunction was on shaky ground

Published by MAC on 2007-07-26

Coal company's NGO injunction was on shaky ground

26th July 2007

In what some viewed as a ludicrous over-reaction to criticism, the Aotearoa/New Zealand coal company, Solid Energy, last year attempted to prevent its nemesis, the Save Happy Valley coaltion, from publishing a critical report on its website - by suing the NGO. [see:]

The ploy has clearly backfired..

Freedom of Speech preserved: Save Happy Valley Coalition free to publish with own logo

Press release: Save Happy Valley Coalition

26th July 2007

The Save Happy Valley Coalition is about to re-launch the Environment Report on their website with a slightly altered front page, following the interim court proceedings brought by Solid Energy against Frances Mountier, over the publication of the 2006 mock Environment Report.

Justice Chisholm ordered the removal of the word "Solid Energy" and the coal miner's logo from the front page of the Save Happy Valley Coalition's mock Environment Report.

The whole case has highlighted how anxious this state owned coal miner is to avoid public criticism and debate on their activities. Solid Energy has dropped the original major causes of action - defamation & injurious falsehood - in favour of simply pursuing me for use of the trademarked logo of Solid Energy at the interim stage," said the Save Happy Valley Coalition spokesperson Frances Mountier outside the Christchurch High Court today.

"The legal action taken by Solid Energy had changed considerably from when it was first launched. Proceedings against Powelliphanta Augustus Inc, who Solid Energy were trying to claim were representatives of the Save Happy Valley Coalition, were dropped prior to the hearing and Solid Energy reached an out-of-court settlement with a third defendant, Simon Oosterman, who runs, which hosts the SHVC website," said Ms Mountier.

"While defending this case has cost thousands of dollars of funds donated by supporters, we have been successful – the Environment Report can continue to be published in a substantially unaltered form. Originally, Solid Energy wanted to stop the publication of the report, which is a parody report, mocking Solid Energy's attempts to greeenwash over their devastating mining practices, which impact on ecosystems, workers, the local community and the climate," said Ms Mountier.

The report will be re-launched on as soon as the front cover has been altered.

Media Contact

Frances Mountier, SHVC Spokesperson, 021 175 7484

Home | About Us | Companies | Countries | Minerals | Contact Us
© Mines and Communities 2013. Web site by Zippy Info