Thursday, August 09, 2007

A call-in

Acting Minister for the Environment Pete Hodgson has called in Transpower's proposal for a new transmission line from Waikato to Auckland. This means that the applications for resource consents and notices of requirement (which allow Transpower to use the land) will be heard by a government-appointed board of inquiry, rather than by the relevant local authorities.

This is an extremely rare procedure, and I can only think of two other times it has been used - for the water rights for Project Aqua in 2003, and the Taranaki Combined Cycle power station in 1994. Unlike either of those two projects, this really does seem to be a "project of national significance" and to warrant use of the law.

Correction: Hodgson isn't "acting Minister for the Environment", but acting for the Minister for the Environment - presumably because the current acting Minister for the Environment is also the Minister of Energy.