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Iwi concerns delay Kaimai Range wind farm

A hearing for a proposed wind farm in the north-western area of the Kaimai Range is now unlikely to take place before the end of the year.

The delay comes after iwi raised concerns about the proposal and are in discussions with Kaimai Windfarm Ltd, Hauraki District Council said in a statement. The company lodged resource consent applications with the council and Waikato Regional Council in July last year.

These negotiations between iwi and the company are to determine what within the proposal should be included in a Maori values assessment, which looks at the relationship of Māori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, waahi tapu and other taonga.

The assessment will be considered along with other submissions by three independent commissioners jointly appointed by Hauraki District Council and Waikato Regional Council to decide on the applications.

The applications, which are being processed jointly by the two councils, cover the proposed construction of 24 large scale wind turbines over 1304 hectares near Rotokohu Rd, south of Paeroa. Seven of the proposed turbines would be 180 metres high (to blade tip standing upright) and 17 of them would be 207 metres high. The proposed wind farm will have the capacity to provide an estimated 400 GWH of power per annum, to the national grid.

Other proposed structures include a substation, two lattice transmission towers, two overhead power lines, and 18km of on-site roading. An on-site quarry to supply material for the roads is also proposed. The applications also cover the removal of vegetation and earthworks associated with the construction phase of the project.