Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Unison Networks' proposed Te Waka windfarm has been rejected for the second time by the Environment Court. The project was originally consented by Hastings District Council in April 2007. It was appealed the the Environment Court, which rejected it on the grounds that it would "desecrate" an outstanding landscape. Unison resubmitted a smaller version of the project, which was called in to the Environment Court by Trevor Mallard; the Environment Court has now rejected it again on the same grounds. The upshot: renewable energy doesn't trump everything, and there are limits on visual pollution and where you can stick windfarms. And while I'm strongly in favour of wind power, I'm quite comfortable with that.

Hopefully this means the project will die a quiet death; if you can't win on the stacked process of a call-in, then your project really does suck. But its more likely that they'll pout and whine and complain about how the RMA is "holding up development" and demand the government sidestep its own courts to give them another go with an even more stacked process. This would be destructive not only of the environment, but also of the rule of law. But it seems our business community only favours that when it suits them.