Friday, November 03, 2006

PNCC takes the $250,000

A while ago I blogged about Palmerston North City Council's plan to develop a windfarm in the Turitea Reserve. The first stage of this plan is to change the purpose of the reserve to add renewable energy generation alongside the current purposes of water supply and the protection of indigenous flora and fauna. The council has since held a public consultation on this, and despite two thirds of the 530 submissions being against any re-purposing, decided to proceed. As a result, it will collect a cool quarter of a million from Mighty River Power as a "milestone payment". Our local government is openly for sale to the highest bidder, and it is apparently entirely legal.

The next step is resource consent. I'll be submitting against it (I support wind power, but not in reserves), but I don't have much faith in the process. PNCC will effectively be hearing its own case (it will receive rent from Mighty River for its use of council-owned land if the wind farm goes ahead), and of course will receive another "milestone payment" if consent is granted, so the outcome is a foregone conclusion. Instead, I think the only way of opposing this is political. Local body elections are next year, and our mayor and councillors must be held accountable at the ballot box for their decision.


Why will PNCC be hearing the resource consent not Horizons?

Posted by Anita : 11/03/2006 03:18:00 PM

Anita: It's within PNCC's city limits (which extend quite a way from the actual city).

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 11/03/2006 03:59:00 PM

Um.. but why does a wind farm only need a consent from its territorial authority not its regional one?

I guess that means it's a change to a district plan and/or noise issue not a physical/natural resource management issue. Also it doesn't discharge contaminants - cos otherwise it would belong to the regional council.

If it was hydro or geothermal it'd need to apply to Horizons, so I was surprised that a wind farm can get away with only applying to the territorial.

I think the relevant sections are 30 and 31 of the RMA in case anyone's interested.

Posted by Anita : 11/03/2006 06:47:00 PM