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Mayors coy on turbine future  

More wind farms are likely to appear on the Manawatu horizon, but how many and where is uncertain, according to the region’s mayors.

Asked yesterday what the skyline of the Tararua Ranges was likely to look like in five years’ time, Palmerston North’s Heather Tanguay, Horowhenua’s Brendan Duffy and Tararua’s Maureen Reynolds all refused to speculate.

“That would be impossible to give you an answer on at this stage,” said Mrs Reynolds.

Last week, the mayors were part of a closed-door forum held by Horizons Regional Council to discuss the future of wind farms in the region.

A press release issued by Horizons after that meeting said everyone present agreed there was a need to identify areas locally and regionally where renewable energy options would not be acceptable.

The regional council said it would not tell the other councils where these important areas are.

Yesterday, none of the mayors would rule out future wind farm developments in the future.

“It’s always on the cards,” said Mrs Reynolds.

Mr Duffy agreed. “I don’t have any doubt that more wind farms will appear.”

The general sentiment was that future wind farm developments were in the hands of the power companies.

Mrs Reynolds said it was up to the companies to assess where the right wind was, and to apply to councils for consent from there.

“They need to know just where it’s suitable.”

Mr Duffy and Mrs Reynolds believed wind farms were a positive thing for the region.

“All forms of natural energy have merit, it’s a matter of understanding how they benefit us,” said Mr Duffy.

Mrs Tanguay said she was not able discuss the issue because of pending legal decisions about wind farms.

The city council is a partner in a proposed Turitea wind farm development.

All three mayors were happy with the outcome of last week’s forum, saying it had been a good chance to listen to other regions to try to come up with a regional strategy regarding wind farms.

The meeting concluded with a decision for further discussions.

HAVE YOUR SAY
How do you feel about this issue? Write to the editor at PO Box 3, Palmerston, North or editor@msl.co.nz (include names and addresses), or text to 027 498 1242.

By Katie Chapman

Manawatu Standard

6 June 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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