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Nationwide campaign big success for group

Environment group Save Central has received an estimated $200,000 from the public since launching its national media campaign on Sunday.

The money raised almost doubles the group’s entire campaign funding, generated since its inception late last year.

Spokesman Graye Shattky said the exact amount of funding generated since Sunday was not known, although it was close to, or possibly more than, $200,000.

“That’s what it cost us to get to this point, fighting Project Hayes in court. Now we are in a position where we have the same amount, if not more, to take us into the next phase,” Mr Shattky said.

He said Save Central will continue to campaign over energy issues and threatened landscapes after Project Hayeswith any leftover funding.

“We want to promote a national debate which might lead towards a sensible energy policy,” Mr Shattky said.

He did not release details of who had contributed money to the cause, but said it came in part from “like-minded significant New Zealand individuals” living in the country and overseas.

Save Central comprises members of the Maniototo Environmental Society, Upland Landscape Protection Society, and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

Former All Black and St Bathans property owner Anton Oliver is a member, and media executive and former All Black captain, David Kirk, pledged his support by funding a full-page Save Central campaign advertisement in the Sunday Star Times on June 1.

Meridian Energy’s proposed Project Hayes wind farm on the Lammermoor Range is the first development Save Central has opposed in its entirety.

The $1.5 billion, 176-turbine wind farm is the subject of an Environment Court appeal hearing.

By Rosie Manins

Otago Daily Times

6 June 2008