26 Aug 2012

High Court appeal decision

6:32 am on 26 August 2012

The High Court has upheld an Environment Court decision on a resource consent application for a coal mine on the West Coast, saying that climate change can't be considered under the Resource Management Act.

The appeal was taken by the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society of New Zealand, which opposes a resource consent application by Buller Coal, a subsidiary of Bathurst Resources of Australia.

The open-cast mine would be developed on conservation land on the Denniston Plateau.

Forest & Bird says climate change will have a huge impact on the world's environment, so the Resource Management Act should take it into account.

However, it says the High Court opened the door for more discussion on the scope of the RMA, which is a win in its own way.