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Waikato wind farm gets go-ahead

Friday 27th May 2011

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Contact Energy is welcoming the granting of resource consents for 168 wind turbines and transmission lines to its proposed Hauauru ma raki wind farm in the Waikato.

The wind farm is south of Port Waikato along the western coast to Te Akau South.

It has potential to generate up to 504 megawatts of power, which is enough to power 170,000 average homes.

The project was called in by the previous environment minister Trevor Mallard, which means the consent application process bypasses normal channels and is decided by a board of inquiry.

The Board of Inquiry has released its final decision which grants all resource consents. It had earlier released a draft decision in February.

The consultation process encompassed affected councils, 83 submitters and the Minister for the Environment.

If parties wish to lodge an appeal on a question of law, they have 15 working days from the date they were notified of the final report.

Businessman Ross Townshend, a former chief executive of meat company Affco and dairy industry executive opposed the wind farm. He argued that wind farms were an expensive form of energy generation which were getting green lights because of green politics.

Townshend owns two properties at the southern end of the area to be covered by wind turbines.

He said no to turbines on his farm and he did not want a view of 17 of them on a hillside nearby.



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