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No-go areas for wind farms discussed

Horizons Regional Council is encouraging other local bodies in the region to identify areas that should be protected from wind farm developments.

Horizons met with the mayors and chief executives from Tararua, Horowhenua, Manawatu and Palmerston North this week to discuss renewable energy sources, particularly wind farms.

There was general support for renewable energy in New Zealand, but questions were asked about whether wind farms benefited local and national communities.

Tararua Mayor Maureen Reynolds said it might not appear on the surface that local people benefited but wind farms ultimately provided another option for power.

“If it doesn’t rain we all end up in darkness so there is a local benefit to having another source of energy,” Mrs Reynolds said.

Everyone at the meeting agreed there was a need to identify areas, both locally and regionally, where renewable energy options would not be acceptable.

Horizons’ proposed One Plan identifies areas of regional significance and all mayors agreed their councils should be able to nominate local areas to be included.

Horizons chief executive Michael McCartney said the regional council would respect the local community’s view of what it valued.

The meeting agreed further discussions between Horizons and the other councils’ planning departments were needed to reach an agreeable outcome.

Horizons Chairman Garrick Murfitt said the meeting showed regional cooperation while recognising the differences between each district’s needs.

Manawatu Standard

2 June 2007