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Minister to make wind farm decision

A second attempt by lines company Unison to win consent for a proposed wind farm, already rejected by the Environment Court, will be handed straight to the Government for a decision.

The Hastings District Council has decided not to deal with a slightly modified application from Unison to build a wind farm on Te Waka Range, near the Titiokura Summit on the Napier-Taupo Road.

The council approved Unison’s first application, for 37 turbines on a property next to a site where Hawke’s Bay Windfarms has consent to build 75 turbines of its own.

However, the Environment Court threw out Unison’s proposal, saying the cumulative visual effect of the two wind farms would be excessive, and it would be denigrating to Maori cultural and spiritual values relating to the area.

Unison has appealed against that decision in the High Court, while lodging a new proposal with three fewer turbines with the district council.

Rather than go through a repeat hearing of a virtually identical application, the council has decided to send the consent request straight to Acting Environment Minister David Parker for a decision.

By Kathy Webb

The Dominion Post


14 August 2007