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Lobby group slams All Black over campaign against wind farm  

A wind power lobby group has hit back at All Black Anton Oliver over his campaign against a South Island wind farm.

In a statement today, the Wind Energy Association condemned his comments as a “shrill” attack and said that few people would be swayed by his comments.

Its chief executive Fraser Clark, Mr Oliver had been contradictory, relied on exaggeration and had produced inaccurate information.

“Mr Oliver needs to get his line straight on this issue.

“As a man with a high profile in another part of public life, people expect a much better level of contribution from Mr Oliver. He has an obligation to debate the issue fairly and factually.”

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

Giving at a public hearing, Oliver claimed Meridian’s evidence was “deliberately deceptive” and he said Project Hayes was about profit versus carbon credits, and European findings were that wind farms had no significant effect in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

But Mr Clark said that State Owned Enterprises and private companies are building wind farms because they are “cost-effective, efficient, and are certainly among the cleanest, ways to produce the electricity that each of us use”.

He said that wind generation of power had grown rapidly.

“Turbine suppliers can’t ship their products out the door fast enough.”

He added: “Wind makes up only 2 per cent of our electricity generation, yet we have one of the worlds best wind resources. So there is clearly scope for wind energy to have a bigger role in our energy future,” Mr Clark said.

New Zealand Herald

14 June 2007

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