Palmerston North property owners face a massive loss of equity. 2,000 houses are right underneath Mighty River Power's gigantic wind farm proposal.

For the latest on this stunning fraud click on "HOME" 

May 2009

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NB to increase the page size of this web site and the numerous links simply hold down the control key with your left hand and roll the wheel on your mouse forward.
Submissions are now in.

Take a look at the submissions of the minority 20% who favour the Turitea scheme. Many are from people and their relatives who have a vested interest and plan to exploit the city and their neighbours' misery for financial gain. Look too at the quality of these submissions. To say that they are pathetically weak is an understatement!

Congratulations to the Green Party Aotearoa
New Zealand for taking a strong stand.

Congratulations too to the 6 City Councillors who have had the courage and
integrity to submit against the scheme. This is an unprecedented action by more than one third of the Council, which has 16 elected representatives, none of whom submitted in favour.

Click the link below to view submissions.
Passing the buck.
Ponder this.
Council votes for the wind farm,
Leaves the mess to be sorted out by RMA Commissioners.
MRP pressures the Government into a Call-In (Did PNCC lawyers see this coming?)
Stifles opposition as the process is now very formal and intimidating.
The mess to be decided by a Board of 5,
and the Council distancing itself, making a “ neutral” submission with the onus now placed on their chosen experts.
The lawyers and PNCC now looking like “honest brokers” who can then lay the blame on others if this ridiculous project is ever approved.

Are you happy to see this wind farm foisted on your city ? The panorama at the top of this page, has until recently, been kept secret. Taken from the Kingsgate hotel opposite Pak n' Save the nearest of 131 forty story ( 125 metre ) turbines is just 7.95 km away. Note the image omits all power pylons and has been deliberately set at a very low resolution.

So Mighty River Power will knock off just 9 turbines.16/1/2009
So what ! Big deal !!!!
This is their strategy to make themselves appear at the very last minute "reasonable and concilatory." Only by knocking off the remaining 122 will they achieve this. All that's happened is that this disaster has simply moved from being a total disaster to a monumental disaster.

Get ready to make an opposing submission if you value the environment, the future of this city and your amenity and property values.Consider too how vitally important it is to protect the city's water supply and landscape values. Submissions can be made from 24 January to 23rd February 2009.

The latest
Submission forms can be accessed and printed right here.
Click here for further information:

Turitea wind farm proposal
Wind farm on the fast track; Minister says city council shouldn't decide because it can't be impartial

Editorial Having our say is what matters.
Palmerston North City Council will likely oppose some turbines in the Turitea Wind Farm, despite being contractually involved with the power company, city mayor Jono Naylor said 22/12/2008
Sick of waiting while the Turitea Wind Farm hangs in limbo,
the Palmerston North City Council and Mighty River Power (MRP) are pushing
Click for details

Turbine consent process proceeds; Government change delays Turitea Wind Farm call-in move 14/11/08
Paragraph 13.9 in the document, 'Alteration to Purpose of Turitea Reserve and Amendments to Management Plan Council Decision Adopted 30th October 2006', states:

Council officers advised that the nearest turbines will be approximately 1.5km from the nearest property.

There is no clarification on whether this relates only to turbines in the Reserve. Thus, it is reasonable for the reader and obviously the Councillors at the time, to believe that this statement applied to the project as a whole. Councillors at the time would have presumed that this distance would provide some amenity protection for residents, even though such an offset distance is woefully inadequate for the size and scale of the project proposed.

Presently, a council employee is in the process of giving written permission to Mighty River Power to use Turitea Reserve for Mighty River Power's industrial scale wind generation project. The partial protection offered by an offset of 1.5km from any property must be included in the written permission (designation) to curb the predatory colonisation of the reserve and surrounding private land by Mighty River Power, who has revealed itself to be a greedy and mercenary organisation. Nearby, property owners must ensure that the 1.5km offset distance is not conveniently overlooked.

MRP is determined to ram this project through.

Audio of radiolive

3/9/08 with MRP CEO Doug Heffernan and a wind farm objector.
Note that Heffernan claims the Turitea scheme is similar in size to Meridian's Te Apiti wind farm(90 MegaWatts)when in fact it is four times bigger @ 360 MegaWatts.
LUSH~Mighty River Power's new Kawerau geothermal power station up and running Doug Heffernan, CEO of Mighty River Power, followed by Paul Stitchbury, detractor of wind farms in Manawatu. 03-Sep-2008. (NB this is the actual link from this webpage -it has now been completely disabled - the entire page has been copied for reference to be presented to the Board of Enquiry along with a summary of the interview.)

( note on or about the 15th February 2009 RadioLive's podcast archive was hacked by either MRP or their associates and this podcast was deleted. Attempts are under way to recover this "very sensitive" interview. Furthermore all efforts to delete this website have failed. It should be noted that the website has been saved and copied in a variety of secure locations. This website usually ranks between 7 and 14 in google searches for "Palmerston North", which is quite an achievement. Revelations in the national media 17/2/09 show that a wind farm application has now become a by-word for corruption. See the last comment in this post.)
With MRP arrogantly refusing to withdraw the attempt to call in the project it shouldn't surprise anyone that what Heffernan said about the wind farm can be interpreted as a lie.

Is this socially responsible behaviour by an SOE ?

Rumours are swirling
A polite request to Mighty River Power who visit this site regularly. Could you please issue a public statement to either confirm or deny rumours that you have made a payment to Tanenuiarangi to not oppose the Turitea wind farm. The payment is apparently in the order of some millions of dollars. Has Tanenuiarangi sought a mandate to represent Rangitane on such matters? In the Environment Court in the case of the appealed Motorimu turbines Jonathan Procter made such a claim. It was revealed in the Environment Court that Tanenuiarangi had received payment from Motorimu Wind Farm limited and this was not challenged. If MRP has indeed attempted to buy out local Maori opposition, then this saga has reached a new low. This statement will be removed if a categorical denial by MRP is made public.

This comment has been online for months without a response. We encourage MRP and Tanenuiarangi to contact us to clarify this matter.

DOC sells out on the environment for a paltry $175,000 dollars. Has this happened here? See:

Manawatu Standard editorial 9/10/08.

The former Labour Government planned to declare war on the city ?

Congratulations to Councillors who have stood firm against the bullying tactics of MRP and unanimously rejected out of hand any attempt to call in the Turitea scheme. Councillors who are clearly deeply concerned about the impact of the Turitea disaster on the city have put MRP on notice that no more nonsense from them will be tolerated. MRP employees at the meeting weren't exactly smiling as Councillor after Councillor berated the SOE.

NB, MRP's Mercury Energy is feeling the heat too.

By going behind the Council's back to Mallard to short circuit community involvement MRP has broken its contract with the Council, in particular the very spirit and intent of the contract. Commercial contracts have foundered on much lesser infringements.
Letter by S. Frost
published in the Manawatu Standard 10/9/08

S Frost's submission on the National Policy Statement On Renewable Electricity Generation, which shows how local residents are severely disadvantaged.

NB. S Frost's important observations have also been posted as a comment - see comment number 6

Congratulations to the Manawatu Standard for its strong editorial stance in support of the right of wind farm victims to be heard under the conventional RMA process.

Horizons is failing to protect the environment - MRP is exploiting this weakness. See the 4th comment
in this post for a scathing review by a researcher published in the Manawatu
Standard 2/12/2008.

This is what the city faces as a result of the partnership PNCC has entered into with Mighty River Power.

This is the view from the top of Fitzherbert Avenue.This is the only image from the city that " made it " into MRP's public display. Click this image from MRP to enlarge. As you can see there are gaps which can be " filled in " later if the wind farm is approved. The photomontages deliberately play down the reality.They are highly selective. Note the only photomontage from the city put on display was a tree shrouded one. Here you can see just 9 turbines, there are 122 more. 71 are in front of the reserve. The turbine bottom right is one of a large cluster dominating all of Summerhill, The Turitea and Kahuterawa Valleys and Ngahere Park.

This web site provides information to the reader who wishes to make a submission against the Turitea wind farm. The site is owned by deeply concerned individuals. It is not connected with TAG ( Tararua Aokautere Gardians ) or FOTR ( Friends of the Turitea Reserve ) but we recommend that you support these organizations. The future of the city is at stake and as huge sums of money are involved for personal safety reasons we prefer to remain anonymous, however, you can contact us for help in making your submission by using this email address:
Inappropriately located wind farms are drawing attention around the country.Put your speakers on and check out :
A very important decision
The Environment Court's Motorimu decision ( 1/10/08 ) makes it near impossible for the Turitea scheme to proceed, especially on private land."People come first"
Click here for details
Mighty River Power has lodged its resource consent application with PNCC.
Information now available online.
Start with the proposed wind farm layout. You can easily calculate the distances to houses.

Credibility on the line.
MRP literature repeatedly states that the wind farm
approximately 10km south east of Palmerston north. This statement is not
correct. The proposed wind farm is inside the city boundary. For the city to be 10km from the nearest turbine the
city boundary would have to end
near the BP service station in Rangitikei street.
reality Pacific Drive is 2 kms from the wind farm.
The Fitzherbert bridge is
5kms away.
MRP and its partner
PNCC are
morally obliged to correct this
bare faced

On 1 November 1989, New Zealand local government authorities were reorganised. Palmerston North City boundaries were extended to include Ashhurst, Linton and Turitea.
Online map of PN showing the city boundary goes to the top of the Tararuas and includes the Turitea reserve:
Enlarge the size of the photomontages to get a more accurate view. Note these turbines are 15 metres taller than those at Tararua 3 which are a considerable distance away, yet miraculously they appear "smaller" Note also that the montage from Old West Road deliberately omits 80 turbines, which have been consented at Motorimu and which MRP are said to be buying. Also omitted is the large cluster at the top of Turitea Road right over Pacific Drive. All the photographer had to do was cross the road in order to include them. MRP did not put all their photomontages on display during their brief public " consultation " at the Convention Centre, a display which consisted of a small semi circle stacked with MRP employees. Full page newspaper ads did not provide either a site plan or photomontages, just a few wispy clouds.
More photomontages have been added by MRP. They are dramatic.

They have no intention of holding public meetings.

Mighty River Power plans to build up to 131 wind turbines in Palmerston North's Turitea Reserve and on neighbouring properties.

A disaster unfolding
See the Environment Commissioner's report.

"In a

  • Rare native bird habitat threatened, falcon, whitehead etc.
  • 30kms of wide roads through the reserve and neighbouring land act as highways for mustelids and other vermin, making a mockery of the "Eco Park " concept.
  • Turitea dams likely to suffer from accelerated erosion. The city can not afford to replace them.
  • Quality of our water supply under further threat at a time when half the world does not have safe, potable water.
  • The landscape mutilated and industrialized in contravention of Horizon's Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI), which aims to contain erodible landscapes, the Tararuas included, from raising the region's river beds.

  • The city forced to continue developing on the flood plain of the Manawatu river. No person aware of the noise and visual pollution, or the economic consequences for them personally, will be likely to invest in a dwelling on the Summerhill side of the river.
  • Potential for a calamitous fire. A fire is the greatest threat to the bush in the Turitea Reserve and Hardings Park . It would take at least a century to recover. The Turitea is only now recovering from a fire that occurred two centuries ago.
  • Property values cratered, particularly on the Summerhill side of the bridge. This will translate into a higher rates burden for the Western side of the city at a time when PNCC is having great difficulty in controlling its expediture.
  • The city becomes an international laughingstock.

  • 37 landowners benefit enormously at the expense of the whole city. The developers and land owners will simply cut and run.

  • Confidence in due processes, the Government and PNCC seriously eroded.

  • Trivial economic benefits once the wind farm is built. No money can repair the city's damaged image.

  • The flawed " science" of global warming being touted as a reason for unprecedented vandalism of our local environment.

  • Operating wind turbines can not feed the grid when there is a blackout as they need live current fed into them in order to function.
  • No consideration is being given to energy conservation, solar water heating or passive solar design for houses.
  • All money earnt as "rent" for the use of the Turitea Reserve as a wind farm can only be spent on the reserve and can never be used to reduce rates. There is no benefit to the ratepayers of this city at all, in fact the reverse is true with the loss of amenity and property values.
Potentially how many turbines will smother the Tararuas behind the city?

Te Apiti 64 built
Tararua 1,2,3 134 built
Te Rere Hau 97 approved and under construction
Turitea 131 seeking consent
Motorimu 80 approved

Total 506

Te Rere Hau extension, resource consent yet to be applied for.Total 37
The Tararua ranges in the Manawatu have become the nation's environmental dumping ground while the Waitakere ranges have recently received the highest level of protection from this type of irresponsible development.
Waitakere Ranges Protection Society
The Society's fundamental goals are:
To protect Auckland's western forest and coastline from degradation and to promote its conservation.
To enhance environmental values and restore disturbed areas to ecological health.
To see the region managed and nurtured by a unified and consistent philosophy of protection.
To provide an unequivocal voice speaking for this area of exceptional natural heritage.

APRIL 23rd,2008.The Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act was passed by Parliament with Royal Assent.
The Tararuas require the same level of protection.
Full story from the Manawatu Standard 17/7/08, plus comments.
Wind farm at Turitea moves closer

Mighty River Power plans to build up to 131 wind turbines in Palmerston North's Turitea Reserve and on neighbouring properties.
The state-owned company confirmed yesterday it will seek resource consents for the wind farm, which could potentially generate up to 360 megawatts of electricity for the national grid, enough to power 150,000 houses
. In our opinion this is misleading information because Mighty River Power (MRP) has not added “when the wind is blowing at optimal speeds”. When there is no wind, as there has been frequently, the turbines cannot supply any houses. Consistent wind speeds at the northern end of the Tararua Forest Park make the site potentially "one of New Zealand's most successful wind generation developments", according to Mighty River Power.
The Tararua 3 Vestas turbines, which are at a lower elevation than most of the proposed MRP Turitea turbines are, judging by the frequent visits by huge cranes, having serious maintenance problems after less than a year in operation. Let's be honest here, is this all about generating carbon credits to get the government out of the hole it threw itself into by signing up to Kyoto?
Applications for resource consents will be heard by independent commissioners.
Mighty River Power development manager Stuart McDonnell said the company will host
information days about the project in the Palmerston North Convention Centre next week and the following week. For a grand total of just 24 hours all up. Why are MRP not holding public meetings in the evening? Is this all about trying to keep the horrendous impact of their scheme below the radar? Does the information time slot in the middle of the working day enable MRP to tick the community consultation box without becoming embroiled in any controversy? The Manawatu Standard has previously reported that up to 60 turbines could be put in the Turitea water catchment.
It's understood that most of the planned 131 turbines would be on private land.
The High Court ruled a year ago that the reserve could be used for renewable electricity generation.
The controversial plan - a joint venture between Palmerston North City Council and Mighty River Power - involves using revenue generated by the wind farm to create an eco-park
. The "eco-park", the Turitea Reserve, already exists but access by the public will, as now, not be permitted under any circumstances. Is the Eco-park a concept dreamed up to act as a sweetener to seduce the supposedly gullible public into accepting a monstrous industrial installation on the city’s doorstep? Giant flailing blades greater in diameter than the wing span of a jumbo jet are not compatible with the birdlife in an eco-park. Council business development executive Mike Manson said the park would be about the size of Kapiti Island. Is
the concept of an eco-park acceptable compensation for having the entire skyline behind Palmerston North covered in monstrous wind turbines in places almost half the height of the range itself ? Not to mention the exacerbation of declining residential property values within the city and surrounding area?No more than 25ha of the reserve would be used for the wind farm, he said. 10, 25, or 50 hectares makes no difference to the enormous visual impact this project will have on the ranges/ hills that form the backdrop to Palmerston North. In addition the audible noise envelope is likely to create a nuisance to a large part of the city during easterly winds.The council would engage with the Department of Conservation to develop an eco-park strategy. This is a tacit admission that no one knows what the "eco-park" is , or even where it is.
"Scoping" has been done on the practicality of re-planting areas of the park and re-introducing endangered native species, he said. Already a very large area of regenerating bush under stunted pines has been cut down to make way for the "highways" needed for access.Mighty River Power bought a 19.95 percent stake in Windflow Technology last month but it is not expected to use Windflow's two- bladed turbines in the Turitea development.
The company made "progress payments" worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to the council
as hurdles were cleared.
Should these progress payments be called bribes? Are the "hurdles" those who oppose this madness?
There were also helicopter rides for councillors. Hope they had a nice time.The High Court ruled, however, that a contention of bias failed and that renewable electricity generation was a legitimate council purpose. Actually, PNCC's legal responsibility and very purpose for existing is to look after the interests of its own citizens. The “Variation in the Wind Farm Agreement” requires PNCC to do all it can to ensure the project with MRP proceeds. How can PNCC protect the amenity interests of its residents? Was this all a done deal before the consultation to change the status of Turitea Reserve, i.e. what contracts were signed with MRP prior to the consultation? Mighty River Power's information days will be held at the Convention Centre from Tuesday to Thursday in the next two weeks, 10am to 2pm. When everyone is at work - MRP is trying to slip this disaster under the radar.
Below is a list of sites worldwide dealing with the adverse effects of wind turbines.
A small American town's unhappy experience with an established wind farm.
Life Under a Wind Plant (Part 1). Click here for Part 2 and Part 3 .

PNCC and the goverment have sold this city down the " river "

( definition: "to sell someone down the river" =
to do something which harms or disappoints someone who trusted you, in order to get an advantage for yourself.
Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms )

Expect the value of houses to decline by a minimum of 20% below normal market trends if they are within a 4 - 5 k radius of a wind farm, if indeed they can be sold at all. International experience supports this statement. A property devaluation on this scale is unprecedented and will spill over into the city at large. The city is small, no city property is immune.
Gareth Morgan 17/9/08 on what the economy faces.
How long before some property owners in PN have negative equity? Property values in the Western world are falling.

Negative equity here aleady for those who have put down less than 15%. Add another 20% if you are in the wind farm zone - if you can sell.

There is talk of the current recession turning into a hyperinflationary depression.
How many people will deliberately choose to live under a wind farm?
From the Daily Telegraph 26 July 2008

Excerpts from the Telegraph article

UK home owners who live near wind turbines could see thousands of pounds wiped off the value of their properties after a legal ruling.The warning comes after Jane Davis was told she will get a discount on her council tax because the value of her
£170,000 home has been reduced by a turbine 1,017 yards away.The ruling is effectively an official admission that wind farms, which are accused of spoiling countryside views and producing a deafening roar, have a negative effect on house prices."
Mrs Davis said: " for people living near wind farms, both now and in the future, it will be a disaster"
Now the noise generated by the turbines is so severe ...... that it has left the Davises unable to sleep.They currently live in a rented house a few miles away.
The Davis's kept a log of the nights that their steep has been affected - 231 disturbed nights out of 243.

" We have suffered such extreme sleep deprivation because of this that we have had to abandon our home," said Mrs Davis, 52. " We can't sell it because of the noise, it is like torture "
Estate agents acknowledge that the house, worth £170,000 before the wind farm was built, is so severely blighted that no one is likely to buy it.

A recent Youtube video interview with people affected by noise and flicker. Coming to a hill near you if PNCC and Mighty River Power get their way.
Energy companies don't care. Their management teams don't live here in Palmerston North. Locals near a wind farm proposal are cynically described not as NIMBYS but as NAGS ( naive and gullible )

The city has been misled about the impact of the wind farm

This map below shows the location of the 131 , 125 metre (40 story) 3 megawatt turbines - see the dots. It comes from an MRP handout available to the public. It is clear that the turbines are very close to residential properties.The map is completely out of date, omitting all residential development on the Summerhill side of the river. Turbine flicker will be an insurmountable problem for many properties to the east and west of the turbines in the mornings and evenings.

Manawatu and Wanganui house prices decline 14% in June.

"The biggest regional median price decline is Manawatu and Wanganui, down 13.81 per cent from $248,000 to $213,750."
"The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors estimates that the price of a house
located close to a new turbine falls by 20 per cent, if the owners are able
to sell it at all." February 2008
Ashhurst resident's lives made a misery by wind turbines.
( NB All property on the Summerhill side of the city is within the noise envelope of the proposed Turitea wind farm.)
KATHY WEBB - The Dominion Post Wednesday, 09 July 2008

Family to measure wind farm 'misery'
An Ashhurst family have been asked to record noise from wind turbines they say are making life a misery.
The Brock family, who have complained about loud noise and low-frequency sound from Meridian Energy's Te Apiti wind farm since 2004, say Meridian has now sent them a recorder and microphone to use on days the turbines are especially noisy.
Wendy Brock said the recorder would catch the roar of the turbines during strong easterlies, but would not register the low-frequency sound that sometimes wrecked her family's sleep for weeks on end.
The low-frequency noise - known as infrasound - comes up through the wooden floor of her family home
2.5 kilometres from the nearest of 55 turbines, and manifests itself as a throbbing beat in the ears, chest or spine.
"We had a really bad January and February," she said. "May was not too bad, but usually, July is a shocker."
Meridian had promised her the turbines would not be any louder than waves on a shore.
In its application for the wind farm, Meridian said "the effects of the noise from the wind turbines at the boundaries of the site are ... considered to be no more than minor".
However, a survey by Robyn Phipps, a senior lecturer in building technology at Massey University, found that households living more than
10 kilometres from Te Apiti and other turbines in the Tararua and Ruahine ranges were also disturbed by their noise.
National noise standards did not measure infrasound or take into account atmospheric effects, cumulative noise or the nature of wind turbine noise, Dr Phipps told a hearing for the Motorimu wind farm near Palmerston North last year.
Meridian spokeswoman Claire Shaw said every complaint about turbine noise was taken very seriously.
Very few complaints had been received about Te Apiti, she said. Meridian had commissioned an independent report last year that concluded all noise from Te Apiti was within national standards.
Yes, you can complain, but this will identifiy your property which will make it very hard to sell. The Brock case is only now being dealt with 4 years after the first complaint. Don't expect anything to happen though. The energy companies do not want to buy victim's properties.

Poaka Beck House, near Askam, Cumbria, UK .
The owners of this home in the Lake District of England successfully sued for damages because the sellers did not disclose their knowledge that an industrial wind power facility was going up near by. Do property owners , in particular those on Polson Hill and the Pahiatua track, have even a clue what will tower over them if this disaster is approved ?
Palmerston North is a great place to live, centrally located with excellent facilities and infrastructure. We love our city. However, it is under threat from a proposed massive wind farm encompassing the city's entire eastern flank. 2,000 residences are right beneath Mighty River Power's 131 forty story turbines. 10% of the city's population, 7,542, live in those 2,000 houses. ( 2006 census ) Furthermore a 600 section subdivision is planned for the top end of Pacific Drive and another 2,000 section suburb at the bottom of Kahuterawa Road. Wind turbines certainly have their place in the renewable energy mix and residents have readily accepted the initial developments . Unfortunately, the cumulative effects of Mighty River Power's proposal will tip the balance.The Turitea Reserve which is a haven for rare and endangered native birds and also the city's water supply is the site for 60 of the turbines.

The remaining 71 are on private land IN FRONT of the reserve. Nowhere else in the world has anyone ever attempted to place wind turbines so close to so many people and houses.The proposed turbines will dominate and tower over homes from Polson Hill on the Pahiatua Track through to the Kahuterawa Valley.
Citizens need to be ready to protect their amenity rights and the saleablilty of their property from this environmental, social and economic travesty. The purpose of this web site is inform you how to do this and to keep you abreast of developments as they occur.
These Tararua 3 turbines are 15 metres shorter than the Turitea turbines.
Would you place them as close as 50 metres and 640 metres from dwellings ??

Credits: Jonathan Cameron, Manawatu Standard .

Bookmark this page and share it with others.

Things you can do.

Become informed about the issues. Explore the links below.

  1. Visit where you can find out how to make an effective opposing submission under the Resource Management Act.

  2. For a balanced legal opinion on cumulative effects .

  3. Read the Local Government Act 2002 which clearly sets out PNCC's obligations to the community.

  4. The city is built on a flood plain. A wind farm will stop development on higher, safer ground. This brochure was distributed throughout the city .

  5. Link to Horizon's Sustainable Land Use Initiative which aims to control erosion on our landscapes, the Tararua Ranges included.

    Click the link below for a sample of the problems faced by people living near wind farms in the UK / NZ. An excellent submission covering.
1.Property values destoyed.
2.Unbearable noise.

3.Total indifference by local authorities.

4.Residents conned and disenfranchised.

5.Total loss of amenity.

6.Communities fragmented by devious tactics and the corrupting influence of money paid to ensure projects go ahead.
Memorandum by Jane and Julian Davis (9 June 2008)
Memorandum by Peter Hadden ( 16 June 2008 )

Just listen to the noise which is driving people from their homes in the US. Note that the recording is made upwind from the turbines.

Communities wrecked.

A visual summary of the problems turbines cause.

Our water supply, native bush, privately owned pine plantations and rural residential homes threatened by turbine fires such as this one.

Many more submissions here.
Wind farm developer deceives residents. A property owner speaks out(Posted July 1, 2008)

Wind turbine syndrome.

ABSTRACT From Dr Nina Pierpont's peer reviewed research, available online from January 2009
This report documents a consistent, often debilitating, complex of symptoms experienced by adults and children while living near large (1.5-3 MW) industrial wind turbines, examines patterns of individual susceptibility, and proposes pathophysiologic mechanisms. Symptoms include sleep disturbance,headache, tinnitus, ear pressure, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, visual blurring, tachycardia, irritability,problems with concentration and memory, and panic episodes associated with sensations of internal pulsation or quivering which arise while awake or asleep.The study is a case series of 10 affected families, with 38 members age 0-75, living 305 m to 1.5 km(1000 to 4900 ft) from wind turbines erected since 2004. All competent and available adults and older teens completed a detailed clinical interview about their own and their children’s symptoms, sensations,and medical conditions before turbines were erected near their homes, while living near operating turbines, and after leaving their homes or spending a prolonged period away. Statistically significant risk factors for symptoms during exposure include pre-existing migraine disorder,motion sensitivity, or inner ear damage (pre-existing tinnitus, hearing loss, or industrial noise exposure).Symptoms are not statistically associated with pre-existing anxiety or other mental health disorders. The symptom complex resembles syndromes caused by vestibular dysfunction. People without known riskfactors are also affected.The proposed pathophysiology posits disturbance to balance and position sense due to low frequency noise or vibration stimulating receptors for the balance system (vestibular, somatosensory, or visceral sensory, as well as visual stimulation from moving shadows) in a discordant fashion. Vestibular neural signals are known to affect a variety of brain areas and functions, including memory, spatial processing, complex problem-solving, fear, autonomic effects, and aversive learning, providing a robust neural framework for the symptom associations in Wind Turbine Syndrome. Further research is needed to establish prevalence and to explore effects in special populations, including children. This and other studies suggest that safe setbacks will be at least 2 km (1.24 mi), and will be longer for larger turbines and in more varied topography.


concerned resident said...

Thank you for your detailed replies to the questions I have asked in other sections of this blog. I will certainly be making a submission against wind turbines south of the Pahiatua Track to protect my amenity and property values. Is it useful if I speak to the submission I make? What things should I cover in the submission I make?

Palmerston North said...

If you are able to, it is useful to speak to your submission because the
commissioners are more able to evaluate the importance of amenity values to
the local community. This is important because at the end of the hearing
value judgements must be made.
Your oral presentation need not be long.
There is nothing to fear in this process. You are not being put on trial and commissioners really want to hear you views, after all you are the one who at the end of the day will have to live with a poorly sited and inappropriate development. It won't be pulled down later just to keep you quiet.

Refer to the website on making a submission under the RMA. Also read the
following information copied from the Ministry for the Environment website:
You may need to copy and paste this link.

Also read this link which we have provided. It will give you an idea of how to make a submission.

Memorandum by Jane and Julian Davis (9 June 2008)

Palmerston North said...

Here is one of the first stories which appeared in the Manawatu Standard regarding the Turitea scheme.

September 14, 2006
Ngahere Park votes to oppose wind farm

By Helen Harvey

Residents in the Ngahere Park area will consider legal action if the proposed Turitea wind farm goes ahead, a submissions hearing was told last night.

Paul Stichbury said he was speaking for other residents who were so angry they couldn’t attend the meeting .

“If this goes ahead, residents want to take legal action …. if they stumped up $5000 each that would be about $500,000.” He did not know if the action would be successful, but it would be embarrassing for the city council, he said.

Last night was the second of three meetings of the infrastructural well-being committee to hear submissions on the council’s proposal to change the purpose of the Turitea Reserve Management Plan to allow renewable energy on the reserve. The third meeting will be on September 27. The committee meets on October 18 to consider the submissions in conjunction with a report by chief executive Paul Wylie and make its recommendation.

This will be considered by the council on October 30. Tararua District Councillor Warren Davidson said he was satisfied the council wouldn’t jeopardise the water supply and that there would not be any damage to the reserve by building wind turbines. There would also be a financial benefit.

It is strange how quickly feeling changed about wind farms and the ‘nimby” effect came in, he said.

“You have the potential for a wonderful facility there and I would say go for it.” Turitea Valley resident Tom Quelch said he was saying no to the proposal because there was insufficient information to make an informed decision and because of the lack of independence and conflict of interest in the council.

Jill White said she was not against wind farms, but the Turitea Reserve wasn’t the place for them.

“The water supply for the city is absolutely sacrosanct. This is the real issue.” She found it “absolutely impossible’ to believe that the integrity of the water supply could be retained while there was major construction going on.

“The eco park is a poor lever in this argument it’s the sweetener in the pill.” MidCentral Health senior health protection officer Peter Wood said he was putting in a neutral submission.

The wind farm and the eco park have different implications for the water supply, he said.

“The proposed management plan has a clear focus on protecting the water supply and protects it from humans going into the (Turitea) reserve.” However, the consultation document had him concerned because it allowed for more people into the water catchment area, he said.

Pineland Drive resident Doug Pringle said he was not opposed to the proposal as long as the natural horizon of his property is not compromised, the enjoyment of his property without intrusion is not affected and the health and safety of his family is not affected.

Mr Pringle said there is a low-frequency noise problem with wind turbines that can cause sleep deprivation.

He said negligence under the Health and Safety Act is a criminal act.

Palmerston North said...

By MICHELLE DUFF - Manawatu Standard | Tuesday, 02 December 2008

Councils failing, says researcher
Regional councils are not helping the environment and need to improve or be scrapped altogether, new research suggests.

Massey University senior lecturer Jeff McNeill has spent five years researching the role of regional councils such as Horizons, and questions their efficiency.

He says they are not looking after the environment, and are having a negative impact in some cases.

"The cumulative effect has been to make it worse - they haven't managed to address the really hard issues," Mr McNeill said.

In his 11-year stint at Horizons as environmental policy manager, Mr McNeill found it frustrating trying to make changes. After a colleague commented: "It seems a funny way to run the country," Mr McNeill began to question if regional councils were doing their jobs.

He surveyed 150 people from organisations including Forest and Bird, Federated Farmers, Fish and Game and the Department of Conservation to find the answer.

The results show regional councils fail to have environmental benefits - but this is not entirely their fault, Mr McNeill said.

"Their ability to really tackle these problems - or some of it - is a consequence of the legislation. Central government have walked away from the issue, and haven't given any guidance to regional councils.

"A lot of these councils are just so small, they don't have the capability, the money, the staff skills and leadership to make it happen."

Decision-makers on the councils are often farmers or retired councillors who have a vested interest in getting their own way rather than protecting the region, he said.

"Not picking on farmers, but if anyone is going to cause any environmental degradation it's them - and you would have to be a pretty brave councillor to tell your mates to pull their socks up."

Another issue is a lack of inter- council collaboration on projects, instead of taking a "do it once and do it right," approach.

"In the end, it does provide strong evidence to support the idea of having a national environmental protection agency, which is similar to other countries in the western world."

But Mr McNeill would prefer a far stronger regional body - encompassing health, social welfare, police and education providers - all working as one on a local level.

Palmerston North said...

A pathetic statement by Horizons over community involvement as to whether or not people want a wind farm in "their backyard." The fake consultation over the Turitea scheme is hardly the model to follow. If people do not want a wind farm then "others" who do have no right to force one on them. Its' like your neighbour deciding the colour of your house, what you can plant in your garden and when you go to bed.

By MICHELLE DUFF - Manawatu Standard | Thursday, 11 December 2008

Stance urged on wind turbines

Councils need to stop dithering and take a stance on whether they want wind farms in their district, Horizons regional council chairman Garry Murfitt says.

Speaking at a Tararua District Council meeting yesterday, Mr Murfitt said councils needed to decide whether they wanted to encourage wind-farm projects in their area.

"We are in favour of renewable energy, but council should be asking their community how far they want these developments to go.

"It's important that territorial authorities have a view."

The Tararua council should canvas the community and decide how many wind farms they want in the district, rather than prolonging it on a case-by- case basis, he said.

"With wind farms you either like them or dislike them intensely.

"I think as a policy it would be useful for us, and I'm sure for central government, to know what the local community would like."

There are already two wind farms in the Tararua district - Meridian Energy's Te Apiti and Trustpower's Tararua - both in the Manawatu Gorge area.

The Puketoi ranges, east of Pahiatua, have been pinpointed by at least two power companies as potential wind-farm sites.

State-owned Mighty River Power began to wind test for a farm this year, and an upcoming resource consent hearing will decide the fate of Contact Energy's proposed $500 million Waitahora wind farm.

Tararua Mayor Maureen Reynolds objected to Mr Murfitt's comments and said there was a process the council had to go through. "We have to look at things from both sides."

When Mr Murfitt continued, she silenced his view.

"We will just stop that discussion at the moment, because we will be having in the near future some hearings."

Palmerston North said...

Submission to the Board of Inquiry – NPS for Renewable Electricity Generation

To the Chairperson
Board of Inquiry

This is a submission on the proposed national policy statement for renewable electricity
generation that was publicly notified on 6 September 2008.
The comment I am making relates to the reality of the Resource Management
process for local people because the flavour of the draft policy statement appears to
favour the applicants for renewable energy projects.
As I understand it equality, fairness and justice underpin the rule of law. Respect for the
law is fundamental for a civilised society. Unfortunately, of recent, laws such as the
Resource Management Act as applied to wind farm developments are casting doubt on
the fundamental principles of equality, justice and fairness. In my opinion this is a topic
that is worthy of consideration by the Law Commission, i.e. how the RMA is applied in
terms of wind farm applications. My concerns are set out below.
 When large power companies apply for wind farm consents under the RMA,
opposing local parties are severely disadvantaged. In reality there is no equality
and fairness because opposing locals lack the time, expertise and financial
resources of wind farm developers.
 Opposing locals have to prove loss of amenity and other values to limit proposals
and this is extremely difficult on what amounts to value judgements. Some form
of cost-benefit analysis should occur.
 Wind farm applicants pay experts to cast evidence in favour of wind farms. Such
experts are affected parties in that they are paid to provide evidence in the
applicant’s favour, which is often a value judgement. In most cases these experts
are not residents in the local community. Such experts can be considered as
affected parties in that they have a financial interest in the process and this
invalidates value judgements. A survey done by an opposing submitter would not
be accepted on the basis of being an opposing party, why should it be otherwise
for a paid supporting party?
 If experts make claims that do not hold up in reality the mechanisms to gain
enforcement of conditions are weak. These experts and the applicant are not held
 No dollar value can be put on loss of amenity in the weighing up of decisions, nor
is there a prescribed way to handle section 5(2) in the RMA.
 It appears that opposing parties have to provide concrete evidence to prove loss of
amenity. Wind farm applicants do not have to prove that there will not be loss of
amenity when concerns, are raised by opposing parties. Philosophically this is the
opposite of the fundamental principle in law of being innocent until proven guilty.
 Measurement of noise levels under NZ 6808 is no guarantee that noise
disturbance will be mitigated. Noise levels are not the issue. The imposition of a
man made noise into an environment of natural noises is the issue and can be
considered by some people as “the dripping tap effect”. The equipment used in
noise monitoring cannot duplicate the human ear.
 Black box noise modelling is used, i.e. the software used for the modelling allows
the so-called noise experts to massage the data collected. Details and an audit trail
of the massaging are never placed on the table for close scrutiny. Crude
monitoring equipment and simplistic software is used for the modelling, i.e. it
does not separate out the different components of the noise such as bird song and
vegetation rustling in the wind, from the swishing and thumping of wind turbines.
More sophisticated software provides standard modelling in that it does not allow
massaging and re-runs to achieve favourable results.
 Simplistic assumptions are made, e.g. as the wind speed increases, background
noise increases, which masks wind turbine noise. This only occurs when the
noises are of a similar type.
 The local communities are the landscape experts because they gain a spiritual
integration with the landscape as a result of the physical and financial
commitment that they make in their properties. It is bizarre that some apparent
landscape expert who does not reside in the area can gain credibility by being paid
to make claims that oppose those of local residents who view the landscape every
 It is impossible to prove at the time of consent applications that the social,
economic and cultural well being of communities will be preserved.
1. In reality divisions occur in communities between those who receive wind
turbine royalties and other more adversely affected neighbours who do not
receive royalties.
2. Anecdotal evidence suggests high turnover of people living close to
turbines. No studies to follow up this matter have been done.
3. Values and saleability of property is becoming an issue for houses close to
wind turbines. Once again no independent research has been done.
 Although saleability and devaluation of property is not an issue considered under
the RMA it does form an essential component of social and economic well being
of communities. Those affected in this way do not view the associated laws as
being fair and equitable.
 To maintain equality, justice and fairness it is essential property rights are
considered and in the event of national interest, some mechanism must be made to
compensate for loss of these rights.
 Wind farm developers regularly claim wind farms do not affect land values. Thus,
applicants have nothing to lose by providing a buy-out option at valuation for
properties within 3-4km of a wind farm. Such an option would prove that
applicants for wind farms have full confidence in the noise modelling and other
claims made.
 Wind farm applicants claim that wind turbines are essential because of the
Greenhouse effect and x tonnes of carbon dioxide are mitigated by their project.
The Greenhouse effect described solely only the basis of carbon dioxide
emissions is an ongoing and evolving debate and is not proven science. The
thermal back up required, especially over this present period with low hydro
lakes, is never factored into the calculations provided.
 Wind farm applicants claim that their projects can supply x houses and this figure
is not modified to say, “When the wind is blowing”. The figure provided amounts
to misinformation unless full details are provided.
 The Government has set a target of 90% renewable energy in the generation mix
by 2020. This is not moderated by the requirement for this generation to be
sensible development within the national framework, e.g. avoiding too many wind
farms being concentrated in one area. Because of the intermittency of the wind,
wind farms need to be geographically spread to improve reliability. Wind farms
developers in their quest for carbon credits, or other funny money, see this target
as, “grab what you can,” regardless of sensible development in the national
interest. For example, in the Taranaki Daily News, 11 June 2008, Transpower
system operations manager Kieran Devine is quoted:
Manawatu wind farms have been generating at less than 1% of their capacity during
winter evening peaks for the last three years. We have real concerns about the large
amount of wind generation planned in the lower North Island, because the
preliminary information is that they will have very similar characteristics to the
Manawatu farms and that won’t help with winter peaks. We’d prefer they were
spread around so that when one’s up other swill be down and it would balance itself
Local bodies often overlook their obligations in the Local Government Act 2002, i.e.
accountability to their communities. They embrace wind development and are reluctant to
address cumulative and other effects in their plans and designations. The hard value
judgements are left to commissioners who have not been provided with the tools to
readily oppose and address cumulative effects.

I do not wish to be heard in support of my submission.

Stephen Frost

Palmerston North said...

By BEN HEATHER in Queenstown - The Southland Times | Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Meridian money 'gags' dissent
The Department of Conservation was paid $175,000 by Meridian Energy to drop its opposition to the $2 billion Project Hayes wind farm.

The department is the third wind farm opponent Meridian Energy has silenced, with Ngai Tahu and the Historic Places Trust both withdrawing their opposition last year following settlements, with the latter including a $179,000 payment.

Director-general of Conservation Al Morrison said silence was not bought and the agreement was reached after concerns about "localised impacts" were addressed.

"DOC ... often enters into negotiations with developers to ensure localised impacts on birds or plants can be addressed," he said.

"If we can get compensation to help settle these issues we will."

The agreement, tabled as evidence in the Environment Court in Queenstown last week, included Meridian agreeing to monitor birds killed by turbines and turn the carcasses over to the department.

The $175,000 is earmarked to improve public access to the Rock and Pillar Conservation Area and research the decline of the eastern falcon.

But while fears of dead birds may have been resolved, the department's biggest concerns were never raised, because they would have contradicted the Government's pro-Hayes submission.

Department Otago Conservator Jeff Connell confirmed on Wednesday that a landscape assessment was not submitted because it would have forced the department to reject Project Hayes outright.

Instead they stuck to issues of birds, trout and fire plans, for which concessions could be made.

Department spokesperson Rory Newsam said the department was allowed to raise only local concerns in its submission, and landscape issues were not deemed local.

Historic Places Trust chief executive Bruce Chapman said its deal was not secret and was agreed upon to gain the best outcome for heritage values.

Ngai Tahu would not say how much money was involved in their deal with Meridian.

Upland Landscape Protection society legal organiser Ewan Carr said the department had been gagged by both the Government and Meridian.

"It not about money, it is about the principle," he said.

"The department should be a check and balance. Instead they are a pawn in lessening the public's perception of the risk (of Project Hayes)."

The society is one of several groups still fighting the Central Otago wind farm in the Environment Court in Queenstown.

Mr Carr said Meridian had resorted to "chequebook justice", buying out the well-resourced opponents and leaving smaller community groups to battle it alone.

Meanwhile, Meridian has announced it will increase its power prices from March 15.

Southland's 2000 Meridian customers, Central Otago's 1000 and Otago's 1000 will pay 5.8 per cent more on average for their power.