Archive for the ‘Resource Management Act’ category

Pylons get go ahead

July 6, 2007

The go-ahead has been given for plans for new power lines to supply electricity to Auckland, despite fierce opposition from local farmers. While no-one likes having 70 metre high pylons in their back yard, Auckland is a growing city and it is important it has a good supply of power. The project has already taken three years to gain apporval, and it appears some diehard NIMBYists still want to fight on. This is a victory for the National interests over NIMBYists. It does show that change to the RMA is needed to help speed up big projects from NIMBYist delays.

Makara wind farm one step closer

May 16, 2007

The Environment Court has given approval for Meridian Energy’s proposed 70 turbine Makara wind-farm, although the number of turbines has been reduced from 70 to 66. if built it will generate enough electricity for 110 000 homes, with no carbon emissions. The bad news is that thanks to increases in construction costs during the resource consent process, the cost of building the wind-farm ha gone up by $120 million. That’s an awful lot of money that the NIMBYists have grabbed  from Meridian Energy. And even worse, the NIMBYists can still go to the High Court to stop the project. This case shows why we need to change the Resource Management Act. A good change will involve requiring NIMBYists to place a large bond when going to appeal a decision to the Environment Court, which will only be refunded if the appeal is successful, and if the appeal is unsuccessful then the bond money can go to the people doing the project (in this case Meridian Energy). When important projects are delayed for long periods of time and face increasing costs, only to go ahead anyway, there are no winners. New Zealand has plenty of potential in wind power, which can be important in helping reduce our carbon emissions, but until we find ways to deal with NIMBYists much of it will not be used.