PRESS RELEASE :: PRESS RELEASE :: PRESS RELEASE
22nd November 2005
For Immediate Use
Solid Energy Continues Campaign of Intimidation
A tramping group, comprised of Save Happy Valley campaigners and interested members of the public, were startled when
security guards invaded their camp site this weekend. The guards, from the Wellington- based Gibson Security firm and
employed by Government mining company Solid Energy, filmed the group against their expressed wishes and demanded
personal details for the purposes of issuing 'pre-emptive' trespass notices.
The Save Happy Valley campaigners were taking the group of 33, which included children and overseas visitors, to see the
pristine valley. Solid Energy has plans to turn the valley into a controversial open- cast coal mine, which is currently
being appealed in the High Court.
The guards burst into the campsite while the group was eating dinner. Kristin Gillies, an aircraft engineer from
Christchurch, said, 'I was appalled by the unprovoked harassment we got from these guys, I came in here to enjoy the
valley and hear kiwi, not to be intimidated.'
Happy Valley has an unusually high density of great spotted kiwi, and is also home to a rare population of carnivorous
endemic land snails.
Intimidation of the group continued when the group encountered a roadblock, police officers, and a paddywagon at the
road end. Save Happy Valley spokesperson Frances Mountier said, "No one was arrested: this is just straight
intimidation. I'm extremely disappointed at these over-the-top tactics employed by Solid Energy and the local police."
More information: see http://www.savehappyvalley.org.nz.
Shows Gibson Security invasively filming at campsite, Saturday 19
November. Taken by Alan Liefting
Shows police roadblock, Sunday 20 November 2005. Taken by Forest and