February 17, 2011
Letters, New Zealand

It’s an ill wind on ground hog day

The New Zealand Farmers Weekly, 14-02-2011

Your January 31 articles [click here, p. 15; or here for PDF] regarding another wind farm in the Hurunui area was like ground hog day for me and probably for a lot of others whose lives have been affected by these projects.

It is now three years since our rural community in Ohariu Valley was torn apart by Meridian and a group of greedy farmers. We are now waiting for the Environment Court decision on the Mill Creek wind farm.

Hurunui is the latest rural community that will be destroyed by Meridian, who don’t care about people, to achieve the building of another uneconomic wind farm.

I feel for Hurunui Mayor Winton Dalley and his council who are basically powerless to stop wind farm developers but will be offside with the people who voted them in. Alan McKinney and his associates at Meridian hide behind the RMA rules and have a massive legal department to guide them.

They are given a project to complete and have a bottomless pit of money to assist them.

Hurunui residents like all the other rural communities that have suffered from Meridian will have to rely on raffles and cake stalls to finance their case.

Expert witness Dr David Black’s comments nearly made me puke. He is a prime example of a new growth industry in this country: so-called experts on the effects of turbines to the local community.

They appear at RMA hearings and Environment Court cases and sing from Meridian’s song sheet. They also hide behind the Wind Standards and as long as they are not breached everything is okay.

He comments that there are no health risks from turbines. Has he not heard of sleep deprivation?

Ask Makara and Ohariu Valley residents who are suffering from sleep deprivation due to West Wind wind farm.

The aeroplane that flies around your house all night that never lands or the thump-thump that comes through your pillow, according to Dr Black, do not happen or are not caused by the turbines.

Ohariu Valley residents are 5km from the turbines.

So, Dr Black, where are these sleep-depriving phenomena coming from? They didn’t occur before the wind farm was built.

Like all power consumers in this country I have been advised my power costs will be going up – their reasons are vague, which I am questioning.

The bottom line is that all of New Zealand’s power users now have to pay for the wind farms and prop up their losses.

As for the ex All Black at Omihi: Higgy, be careful how you treat Meridian and their supporters, don’t be like me who had five carloads

of police looking for weapons of mass destruction. You have been on a farm long enough to know what splatters when you hit it.

Good luck Hurunui. I along with a lot of other people feel for you.

Robert Best
Ohariu Valley

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2011/02/17/its-an-ill-wind-on-ground-hog-day/