Powerlines company Unison Network said today it would appeal an Environment Court decision to decline its 37-turbine windfarm application for Te Waka Range, near Te Pohue west of Napier.
Unison’s customer relations spokesman, Danny Gough, said the company was disappointed with the court’s decision butwould appeal to the High Court.
Opponents of the windfarm projects, the Outstanding Landscape Protection Society, was celebrating the court’s decision yesterday but said it would “stand up to be counted” if Unison appealed to the High Court.
“Our main issue has always been the view of Te Waka Range from Napier, and for all people in Hawke’s Bay,” society member Ben Crosse said.
“The mountain can be seen by everyone and it is a very significant landmark across the Hawke’s Bay skyline.
The Hastings District Council approved Unison’s Stage 2 Te Waka Windfarm project in May 2006 but appeals from opponents meant the Environment Court would have the final say.
It was in addition to Unison’s Stage 1 project, 90-turbine windfarm already approved by the Environment Court near State Highway 5 and the Titokura Saddle.
A second company, Hawke’s Bay Windfarm, also had its project for a 75-turbine windfarm approved by the Environment Court last year, also to be located near Te Waka Range, State Highway 5.
Mr Crosse, a Patoka farmer, lived under Te Waka Range about 10 km from where the windfarm projects will be built.
He said the court’s decision reinforced the view of local iwi, Ngati Hineuru Iwi Incorporated and Maungaharuru-Tangitu Society, that the whole of Te Waka Range was of significance.
Iwi believe the mountain range to be in the shape of a waka and Mr Crosse said removing proposed windfarm projects from that site would be “protecting the waka for all to view”.
The council’s chief executive, Murray Gilbertson, said the council respected the Environment Court’s decision.
By Lawrence Gullery
18 April 2007
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