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Group lodges wind farm appeal  

Credit:  The Southland Times, www.stuff.co.nz 20 April 2012 ~~

A group of Bluff and Greenpoint residents have lodged their appeal against the Flat Hill Wind Farm.

The appeal, discussed when the wind farm was given consent by the Invercargill City Council’s appointed commission in March, will be heard in the Environment Court.

Maori resource management company Te Ao Marama is acting on behalf of Te Runaka o Awarua, while wind farm opponents Louise Fowler-Harnett, Eve and David Stockwell and Gail Thompson are also named as appellants.

The appeal notification disputes the failure to consider evidence of the hill’s importance to Maori based on the fact it was oral tradition.

In the original decision to give consent the commission said “if provision has to be made for the relationship of local Maori with the land on the basis of waahi tapu or other concepts of tikanga Maori then it is not sufficient for someone simply to assert a belief”.

There was not enough physical or documentary evidence of the site’s use for it to be considered.

The appeal notification also says the wind farm did not fit in with relevant planning documents including the council’s district plan, failed to consider the adverse effects of the farm on residents and the council had failed to consider the cultural impact of the development.

“The decision will impact on the ability of Te Runaka o Awarua to exercise kaitiakitanga over a site of cultural significance to them and fails to properly consider the effect of the wind turbines on the mahinga kai values of the area,” it says.

The eight-turbine wind farm, planned by Canterbury-based Energy3, would produce up to 6.8MW of electricity from its 81m high turbines.

Source:  The Southland Times, www.stuff.co.nz 20 April 2012

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