Farmers in the Paerau-Styx community might not be so willing to give their neighbours a helping hand if a wind farm is built in the area.
The community is clearly divided on the issue and it was obvious at the Project Hayes hearing in Alexandra yesterday.
On one side of the room sat the landowners who will have turbines built on their property, making submissions in support of Meridian Energy.
On the other side were those who will have to look at the turbines out their lounge window on the Lammermoor Range, and they are not happy about it.
Farmer Ian Manson, also the Maniototo Environmental Society chairman ““ set up by opposing landowners in the area ““ gave an account of what had been happening over the past two years.
Claiming to have been called scaremongers, “Nimbys” (not in my back yard) and more recently thieves, he asked the panel to make the right decision and “send Meridian packing”.
“We don’t feel that ‘Nimby’ correctly describes this particular case as the Project Hayes turbines will not be in our back yard, they will be smack bang in our front yard, dominating every part of it,” he said.
Some supporting submitters claim that property owners in the area should be able to farm any way they wish, including wind.
But Mr Manson said in most cases they would agree when the farming practices were confined to the land that they indeed own, “and not the 160m of air space above it.”
He said there would not be many people in the farming community that would begrudge their neighbours a hand to get on with things, “but these fellow farmers should not want to take this hand up at the expense of their neighbours.”
By Aimee Wilson
The Southland Times
16 May 2007
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