Wednesday, March 27, 2019

A monument to corruption

Over a decade ago, the Palmerston North City Council corruptly sold access to one of its reserves to Mighty River Power to build a windfarm. The project then spent five years fighting for resource consent, before apparently being buried by the global financial crisis. But now, unfortunately, its back, and construction is beginning later this year:

Mercury has confirmed it will build the first 33 of 60 consented wind turbines at Turitea near Palmerston North.

The Manawatū wind farm will be the third largest in the country when construction begins in August, with it producing enough electricity to power 210,000 cars.

Mercury chief executive Fraser Whineray said it would be the first large-scale addition to New Zealand's generation capacity since 2014.

All of which would be great, if that wind farm wasn't in a reserve, and the local council hadn't effectively taken a bribe to reclassify that reserve to allow it to proceed. If instead they'd been able to proceed with the Motorimu project a bit further down the ridge (and not in a reserve), that would be great. Instead, they're going to cut down native bush (sorry: "regenerating native scrub") to build a monument to corruption.