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Court move could speed end of wind farm plan

Hawkes Bay iwi are welcoming a decision to fast track an application for a controversial wind farm.

The Environment Minister, Trevor Mallard, has referred Unison Networks’ 34-turbine Te Waka development direct to the Environment Court, bypassing the Hastings District Council resource consent process.

Contact Energy’s planned Te Mihi geothermal power station near Taupo was also called in.

Jolene Patuawa, the lawyer for Ngati Hinerua and the Maungaharuru-Tangitu Society, says the iwi has already beaten off an almost identical 37-turbine proposal in the Environment Court, so the court is familiar with its concerns.

“They’ve already been through an inquiry, the Mohaka ki Ahuruiri Inquiry, where they’ve set out those concerns, and that particular piece of land was subject to confiscation, and this was a big concern of theirs and they’re wanting to protect that site and its waahi tapu nature,” she says.

Ms Patuawa says it was almost inevitable the applicaition would have ended up in the Environment court anyway.

Waatea News Update

21 December 2007