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All Black Oliver to make stand against Otago wind farm  

All Blacks hooker Anton Oliver will present an opposing submission tomorrow during a reconvened resource consent hearing for Meridian Energy’s proposed Project Hayes wind farm in Central Otago.

Oliver said the state-owned electricity generator and its allies had tried to belittle the community campaign by the Upland Landscape Protection Society by suggesting it was a case of “not in my backyard”.

“It’s a transparent attempt to divert attention away from the issues and concern about an inappropriate development which will have far-reaching effects on Central Otago’s landscapes.

“Those of us who do know this backyard in fact have a responsibility to speak up,” he said.

An independent planning consultant hired by the Central Otago District Council has recommended that the application be declined.

Oliver said there was a politically motivated rush to “jump on the green bandwagon” and the Government, its ministers and Meridian were ignoring serious problems from similar overseas developments.

New Zealand was rushing blindly ahead, despite problems overseas that led several European countries to remove subsidies for wind energy and halt new wind farm connections to their national grid, he said.

Oliver said a German study released in February 2005 found that increasing the amount of wind power would increase consumer costs by 3.7 times and installing filters on existing fossil fuel plants would be more effective in reducing greenhouse gases.

He said the landscape was being sacrificed to Meridian clients “the gods of Comalco and Holcim”, and the scheme would not benefit New Zealanders but overseas multinationals.

“Meridian’s campaign seems to have been one of half-truths, misinformation and fudging information. The more I have looked into it, the more this has seemed to me tantamount to a government-sanctioned corporate rort.”

Oliver will also present a submission on behalf of Central Otago landscape artist Grahame Sydney.

The Southland Times

11 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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