By Helen Harvey
The consultation document is misleading and “good people are being duped”
Plans for the Turitea Reserve, the city’s water supply and the city council’s consultation process all came under scrutiny last night.
The infrastructural well-being committee heard 17 speakers some individuals, others representing organisations at the first of three meetings to hear submissions on changing the Turitea Reserve Management Plan. Only two spoke in favour of changing the plan to allow renewable electricity generation on the reserve.
Detlef Klein said the council did not ethically have a mandate to interfere with the status of the Turitea Reserve.
“In particular, I find it improper that the Palmerston North City Council proposes the change and then decides on the merits while accepting advance payments from the party (Mighty River Power) that will benefit from this change of purpose.”
Mr Klein said the consultation document was misleading and “good people are being duped”.
Donald Kerr, speaking on behalf of the Forest and Bird Society, said as well as being misleading, the document was incomplete and contradictory. The change of plan allowed for an increase in height in the lake. If this happened, good forest could be flooded.
Bruce Wilson said no amount of money was worth ruining the city’s water supply.
Even if the council was paid $10 billion where would it get a new water supply, he said.
Pru Robbie suggested that councillors had already made up their minds.
“It is a common perception that the decision has already been made.”
However, chairman Peter Claridge assured her this was not the case.
He said the committee would spend three nights listening to submitters, hours had been spent reading the submissions and this had been done with open minds.
Shona Paewai spoke about the proposal to have kiwi in the reserve.
No kiwi, feathered or human, would want to live anywhere near a wind farm, she said.
“Are they going to have double-glazed nests?”
Tony Paewai showed photos of the Tararua 3 wind farm that is currently under construction.
“To say damage is minimal is ludicrous and borders on deceit at a level that astounds the mind. How can this type of destruction be mitigated .hs.hs. it’ll take decades.”
Mr Livingstone said the council’s plans to build an eco park were to be commended.
The council should do what it was proposing, but it needed to do it well, he said.
“Seeing wind mills is a glorious sight – like jewels flashing.”
Mr Ireland said it was a win- win proposal – renewable energy and an eco park.
Eco tourism was a great idea and he said Palmerston North needed the income.
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