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Proposed Kaimai Range wind farm sours family’s hope of dream home

The same day the Sarah and Simon Hill paid the deposit on their dream home, they learnt of a proposed wind farm nearby.

Resource consent was recently filed for the Kaimai Wind Farm – a 24-turbine wind farm proposed for the northern end of the Kaimai Ranges. If approved it will span 1304 hectares, bordered by Rotokohu Rd, Paeroa, and SH26, Tirohia.

Sarah said they were on cloud nine when they managed to buy their Rotokohu Road property at auction.

However, the idea of the wind farm being so close was “a kick in the guts”.

She said they would not be able to afford to move if the wind farm devalued their property.

“We’ve sunk everything into this being our dream home.”

Both questioned why they were not informed during the process of purchasing the property.

Simon said disclosing the proposed wind farm during the sale process “would have been the polite thing to do”.

He said it was not included in the Land Information Memorandum as the wind farm would not be directly on their property.

Before buying the property in October last year, they had been living in a property on State Highway 2, near Netherton.

Simon said that living on SH2 had made then “learn to appreciate somewhere quiet”.

“It’s like a lost world up here,” he said, noting all the insect and birdlife throughout the area.

Their six-year-old daughter, Aimee, expressed concern about the wind farm scaring wildlife away from the area.

She wrote a note saying: “[The turbines] can kill birds, scare birds away. They’ll be scary because they make too much noise. I will be scared”.

Simon said had they known about the project before buying, it would have changed things drastically.

They wanted reassurance for their property and more clarity on the wind farm.

“To potentially have to walk away, that’s detrimental to us.”