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Oliver speaks out against wind farm project  

All Black hooker Anton Oliver continued his campaign against Meridian Energy’s proposed Project Hayes wind farm – this time with the media in tow.

The rugby heavyweight presented a 75-minute, 21-page submission against the proposal, before a public gallery for a resource consents hearing in Alexandra yesterday, the Otago Daily Times reports.

Oliver and poet laureate Brian Turner are among a high-profile group openly opposing the 176-turbine farm proposed for the Lammermoor Range, 15km west of Middlemarch.

Oliver said Meridian was mounting a fear campaign and was deliberately deceptive.

Project Hayes was about profit versus carbon credits, and European findings were that wind farms had no significant effect in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Central Otago might not be suitable for wind farms, Oliver said.

Situated near Dunedin, the 630MW windfarm is planned to be big enough to power every home in the South Island. The first stage would produce about 150 MW, with Meridian building more turbines as demand increased.

However, the project is opposed by local residents, who want to protect the tussock-clad ranges from 160-metre-high turbines and 12-metre-wide access roads.

Oliver last week said the proposal was part of a politically-motivated rush to appear green, with little real pay-off for New Zealand consumers.

“When you look at the practicalities and economics of wind farms overseas, Meridian’s and the government’s claims that this wind farm will ensure security of supply and help Mr and Mrs Consumer are quite outrageous,” Oliver said.

“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.”


Yahoo Xtra News

13 June 2007

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