Poor West Coast

August 30th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The West Coast has been dealt another “devastating blow” and hundreds of jobs throughout the country are set to be slashed after state coal miner announced plans to move away from underground .

Three hundred and seventy miners and contractors at the Spring Creek Mine are in limbo after the state-owned energy company announced the suspension of operations at the mine yesterday.

The Huntly East underground mine in the Waikato will cut 63 staff and 60 contractors because the company is stopping further development. Another 65 staff at the Christchurch head office and 17 staff from other parts of the business are also in the firing line.

What an awful blow. Hopefully it may reopen, but far from certain.

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21 Responses to “Poor West Coast”

  1. kowtow (7,961 comments) says:

    Jobs lost all over the country,China hard landing,milk payout down,Europe stuffed,Aussie mining cutting back ………it’s going to get ugly.

    And what pre occupies the commentariat?

    Bottoms and booze.

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  2. KiwiGreg (3,226 comments) says:

    Cheap natural gas is killing coal all over the place.

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  3. KiwiGreg (3,226 comments) says:

    But of course state ownership of businesses is entirely riskless for those obsessed with retaining it.

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  4. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    Kowtow 11:10am: Probably would have worded it differently, but totally agree.

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  5. hj (6,754 comments) says:

    Cheap natural gas is killing coal all over the place.
    …..
    how cheap is cheap?
    cheap for what purpose?
    where is “all over the place”?

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  6. Nostalgia-NZ (5,045 comments) says:

    I’m trying to be more optimistic Kowtow. Bit of work surfacing in my industry. It may be that coal is easier to get out of the ground with less labour by open cast, our product may not be as good as the Aussie’s stuff so I hesitate to connect all the gloom at this point but I agree with the point about booze, Wilson and so forth they’re not critical to getting the best out of the economy so it’s hard not to feel disdainful about calls for law changes, outrage at various matters that splinter concentration on what matters in the bigger picture. Lets see welfare sorted out in a non-confrontational way for a start, with changes staged in progressively. and keep increasing state efficiency. I want to see reasoned and efficient government, not tactics of alienation.

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  7. hj (6,754 comments) says:

    With regards to job losses on the West Coast as a mine closes you have a clear case of the relationship between livelihood and a resource/ the land. Cast your mind to Auckland where growth is good and more people = more wealth = Ponzi scheme ? The neo libs believe the human mind is the ultimate resource.*

    *God I’m good this morning. Dang!

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  8. iMP (2,345 comments) says:

    This is a good example of smaller NZ communities NEEDING to diversify so that communities are not dependent on a single industry. This is a rule in nature: animals that are too single-food source dependent go extinct when that food supply is compromised. We need lots of smaller income generators in our communities alongside monoliths.

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  9. hj (6,754 comments) says:

    This is a rule in nature: animals that are too single-food source dependent go extinct when that food supply is compromised. We need lots of smaller income generators in our communities alongside monoliths.
    …..
    there must be limited opportunities to diversify that don’t involve land and resources. Unless you run an on-line business or write best sellers (the sort of exceptions that prove the rule)?

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  10. wreck1080 (3,817 comments) says:

    I thought mining was the bees knees !!

    Strange news, is this an indication of brewing troubles in China?

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  11. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    I will be looking forward to hearing what Gerry Brownlee has to say about this with great anticipation…

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  12. duggledog (1,439 comments) says:

    wreck1080 ‘indication of brewing troubles in China?’ You bet, they have a lot of product including shit cars they can’t sell.

    Kowtow’s first comment, totally agree and aren’t the Yanks printing money (again)?

    I’m trying to stay positive.

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  13. Komata (1,142 comments) says:

    RRM: re: ‘I will be looking forward to hearing what Gerry Brownlee has to say about this with great anticipation’

    Not half as much as some of us are, from the gweens- They have been noticeably quiet about this – I wonder why?

    (Snails, anyone?)

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  14. hj (6,754 comments) says:

    The Greens are right to advocate for less use of fossil fuels GIVEN the level of scientific consensus on climate change (for one thing). The problem is that when you advocate an end to growth you have job losses somewhere. Economic growth is the only answer to a chaotic expansion of humanity but delaying a response will lead to a bigger crash.

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  15. Mark (1,435 comments) says:

    The asset sales programme has got termites.

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  16. backster (2,123 comments) says:

    The same company is shutting down its production of bio fuels too…..uneconomic.

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  17. ChrisM (101 comments) says:

    Has anyone else noted that only a short while ago, both the Greens and Labour were berating National for allowing coal to be mined and increasing the carbon emissions. Now the Government is in trouble because the demand for coal has dropped so miners are being laid off. Surely the opposition should be rejoicing at less greenhouse gases. Or is there a real disconnect in the minds of the politicians?

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  18. noote (1 comment) says:

    The greens hate coal mines with a passion. They must be jumping up and down with the probable closure of the mine. Why are we not seeing a press release from them saying what a great decision this will be? Why don’t we see a journo worthy their salt asking Norman the questions?

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  19. Komata (1,142 comments) says:

    ChrisM re: ‘Surely the opposition should be rejoicing at less greenhouse gases’.

    You would think so – at least for consistency; See my earlier answer: ‘Not half as much as some of us are, from the gweens- They have been noticeably quiet about this – I wonder why?’

    Incidentally, isn’t the local MP a member of the Labour party? He knows I’m sure, that any comment he makes against will be very carefully analysed, and is perhaps being somewhat economical with his statements as a result. Odd that. . .

    Coaster’s have VERY long memory’s.

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  20. hj (6,754 comments) says:

    It is stockpiling steel in China and India that has shut down the mines. Krazy Kiwi is wrong.

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  21. ChrisM (101 comments) says:

    The reason why the coal price has collapsed is because India and China aren’t making any goods as no-one is buying them. That means everyone has inventory, including coal fired power stations and steel mills. In the US, coal consumption for power stations is supposed to be down about 40%. All the fraccing gas powered power stations are running flat out. That means the US Coal companies are selling a lot of coal onto the depressed market adding to the collapse.
    Still the bright side might be that migration to Australia stops and their average income drops so much (with all the mining jobs going) that John Key’s aim comes true ;-)

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