Solid Spoof

Solid Energy protest: Source: Happy Valley CoalitionThe New Zealand Government-owned coal mining company, Solid Energy, has had only a limited win with the legal action it launched over a spoof corporate social responsibility report. Initially, the company aimed to suppress the entire report, produced by the Save Happy Valley Coalition, and sought damages for defamation and injurious falsehood. It later changed tack and simply sought the removal of its trademarked logo from the report. Last week, High Court Justice Lester Chisholm ordered that the company logo and name be removed from the report cover. The coalition has subsequently re-issued the report. Solid Energy has become renowned for its hardball tactics. In 2005 the company unsuccessfully sought $NZ379,342 against two environmental groups who challenged the approval of a new mine in a planning tribunal. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Solid Energy had hired a private investigation company to infiltrate the Save Happy Valley Coalition.


Huge corporations always try to sue environmentalists. Nothing new there in New Zealand. Remember, MacDonalds sued two individuals in England because of their well deserved criticism. Green Peace, Sierra Club, and many other environmental groups have been all been attacked by various corporations over the years. It never stops!