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Iwi split on wind farm proposal  

Credit:  SHAWN MCAVINUE, The Southland Times, www.stuff.co.nz 21 February 2012 ~~

Not everybody was agreed on the proposal to build a wind farm northwest of Bluff after a resource consent hearing started in Invercargill yesterday.

Flat Hill Wind Farm director Warren McNabb is seeking resource consent for eight turbines to be set across about five hectares of land on a 477ha deer farm owned by Graham Laidlaw.

The turbines would be 81 metres high, with a 55m tower, and a 26m-high blade, Mr McNabb said.

The wind farm would take five months to build and would generate enough power for 3000 homes.

“This site will be one of the most efficient wind farm generation sites in New Zealand,” he said.

“The Flat Hill site is the only feasible site in the vicinity of Invercargill and Bluff for a wind farm development.”

The total construction cost would be about $15 million and about $6m of the construction spend would go to Southland and Otago businesses.

Te Ao Marama Inc resource management officer Dean Whaanga said he represented iwi on environmental issues.

Members of Te Runanga o Awarua were both for and against the proposal, he said.

Some approved of the wind farm because it was a sustainable, renewable, environmentally friendly way to meet energy demands.

However, some disapproved because of the effects it would have on their cultural landscape, views and their relationship with Te Turakanui a Rua and the surrounding mountains of Murihuku.

“Wind farm projects have the potential to form divisions in communities,” Mr Whaanga said.

Some iwi members were also opposed to the plan because their concerns of the effects of the wind farm on iwi cultural values had not been addressed by Flat Hill Wind Farm.

“Flat Hill Wind Farm have not adequately addressed the loss of cultural amenity values.”

The hearing continues today.

Source:  SHAWN MCAVINUE, The Southland Times, www.stuff.co.nz 21 February 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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