The spinmeisters are now hard at work. We'll keep you posted.

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The Palmerston North resident of the future.

A city of propeller heads, and why?
Because the wind farm contracts with Mighty River Power are for a staggering 60 years.

Click here for the sabotaged
interview with MRP CEO Doug Heffernan.
Whoa !!
The Council pours spray onto Brown's flat, the sump of the city's water supply, to satisfy their partner Mighty River Power. Quote from a PNCC letter to a very concerned resident - 6/4/09.
"Through this maintenance, the road and water tables to the side of the road have been sprayed, and the road itself has been metalled and shaped."
Peter Wheeler, Councillor sums up MRP's appalling conduct in the 5th comment below this post

Contact’s Dannevirke wind farm plans shot down.
See the first comment below for details of the Waitahora decision.
Yet another wind farm defeated 2/4/09.
See the second comment below for details lauding this important environmental victory.
Editorial from the Manawatu Standard 3/4/09 pouring scorn on the scandalous treatment the city is getting from MRP and the Government over the Call-In.
See the third comment for the full text of this editorial.
The city loses whatever happens.
Wind farm guidelines put on hold 7/4/09
Up to $150,000 of ratepayers' money will be spent developing a policy for wind farm development in Palmerston North.
But the policy won't be finalised until a board of inquiry rules on Mighty River Power's (MRP) proposed Turitea Wind Farm.
See the fourth comment below for this story. Is this PNCC's last joke at the expense of the city?
New Board members - 7/4/09. Do they know they know the "culture" of MRP ?
"Joan Withers, who is stepping down as Fairfax New Zealand CEO in June and was formerly a Meridian Energy director, is joining the Mighty River power board. Her appointment is subject to due diligence. The Warehouse chairman Keith Smith is also joining the Mighty River board"
Reading through the lines - see the story below.
Wind farm to bring $500m to Manawatu ( plus commentary in blue )
By GRANT MILLER - The Manawatu Standard
Last updated 13:00 19/03/2009

About $500 million will be blown into the Manawatu economy if the Turitea Wind Farm is built, according to project leader Mighty River Power.
Construction alone would create 250 jobs and be worth between $150m and $180m over two years, a supportive business audience was told yesterday
Wow, so the conservative $150 million or thereabouts which is wiped off the value of property on the Summerhill side of the river will be made up for ....... by paying construction workers....... while the multiplier effect of devaluation will be felt right across the city. Note, a survey of Manawatu businesses by The Manawatu Chamber of Commerce and reported on in the Manawatu Standard 3/3/09 showed only 6% support for the wind farm. Of the 523 members less than 30 responded in favour of the wind farm.
The state-owned power generator began a public relations offensive at a Manawatu Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Palmerston North yesterday ahead of a government board of inquiry hearing on whether the 122-turbine proposal should be allowed to proceed.
Chamber chairman Lance Morrison said he believed the project had "silent majority" public support.
Just who is Lance Morrison ? Hitler and Napoleon claimed they had majority support when they invaded Russia, and look at what happened. 80% of submitters are opposed to the wind farm.
Mighty River Power project development manager Stuart McDonnell said the $500m figure came from using a conservative economic multiplier of 2.8, so that indirect benefits such as spending on motels were included.
So, pray tell, what is the multiplier effect of Massey University and International Pacific College, the city's biggest businesses, which are right under the turbines? Were they ever asked ? No, of course not. Did anyone ever consider the negative financial impact on them and the " multiplier effect " on the whole city? Will students really want to study in "Propeller City ?" Massey has already had to diversify to other regions in order to survive. If governments are so good at creating jobs and picking winning technologies, why doesn’t the Soviet Union still exist? See
After construction, there would be about $4m of ongoing benefits for the region, with 10 to 15 people employed for tasks including repairs and maintenance, he said.
That $4 million is mostly going to wind farmers on private land who will pack their bags and leave the city. 80% of the cost of the wind farm with turbines and other associated equipment will go offshore, increase the country's alarming debt burden ( New Zealand debt is second to that of bankrupt Iceland ) and help to lower the country's credit rating. A 122-turbine farm in the Turitea Reserve and neighbouring properties, 10 kilometres southeast of Palmerston North's Square, would power about 150,000 homes, he said. Why does Mighty River Power persist with this nonsense. 150,000 houses can only be supplied when the wind is blowing at optimum speed and when the turbines are not lying broken and mangled over the landscape.
Wind energy helped offset the company's hydro-electricity operations.
National e
lectricity usage has fallen off a cliff, it has dropped by a whopping 12%. (Molly Melhuish, an energy analyst for the Domestic Energy Users Network in the Dominion Post, 14/03/2009) Please explain how houses are supplied with electricity when the wind doesn't blow? - during winter months when the hydro lakes are low the three Manawatu wind farms have been operating at less than 1% of their installed capacity during peak demand ( a 5 hour period during the evening ).Transpower has revealed this startling information.
The main argument against the project was the visual effect of it, Mr McDonnell said. Er, no, there are as many arguments against as there are turbines. This is a shabby and arrogant dismissal of submitters' legitimate concerns.
Of 655 submissions received by the Ministry of Environment, 66 per cent were opposed and 20 per cent in support. In actual fact the deliberately confusing questionnaire made it easy for many opposing submissions to be classified as " mixed" when they were definitely against.
80% are opposed. 45 additional submissions have since been allowed and only 2 were in favour.
Mighty River Power's "broad evidence" would be that the cumulative visual effect from adding more turbines in the vicinity of others was negligible.
By "broad" he actually means 122 turbines smothering 14kms of the remaining unblemished skyline behind and within the city. Those responsible for this disaster will continue to fly in and out again. They don't give a toss about Palmerston North or the amenity values enjoyed by its citizens.
Power would be supplied to the national grid. It wasn't technically possible to inject power into the local grid and there would be no local discount on power prices, he said.
Nothing here for you, ratepayers, move along. Incredibly there were submitters in favour who actually believe that rates will be lowered by the income from this wind farm. Many other supporters are wind farmers and their families who stand to benefit from revenue from turbines and transmission lines. The wind farm fraternity in the South Island chimed in too with a slew of shallow submissions. Blackley Construction project manager Grant Binns, who hoped to secure wind farm-related work, told the meeting fears about a negative effect on property values were over-hyped. Yeah, right a 20% decline, if you can sell, is "over hyped" It's easy to spot those with their snouts in the trough.
One of the company's contract managers had sold his Summerhill house within a week.
Really, did he tell the luckless buyer about the wind farm, I'll bet not!
Asked about "negative" press coverage, Mr McDonnell said Mighty River Power had previously created an information vacuum through lack of communication.
Oops , yes we are arrogant and deliberately kept the public in the dark until after submissions closed, but from now on we'll be good boys.
The company planned to be more forward in the coming weeks.
In time to look good in front of the members of the Board of Enquiry, of course, however, the board of 5 are intelligent people who won't be taken for a ride.
A royalty to Turitea Reserve owner Palmerston North City Council must, by law, be spent on reserves and the city council planned an eco-park.
The mythical Eco Park will be out of bounds to the public and beyond scrutiny. The Council sold the city for this?
A date for the hearing is expected to be confirmed this week.

A red flag is waving over the 133
submissions in favour. A huge percentage are highly dubious and are subverting
the submission process, same handwriting, same comments, same ticks and posted on the same
day. Lawyers are looking at them now. Our advice to the perpetrators is that it
would be in their interests to withdraw their submissions A.S.A.P .We will keep
you posted.


OK here are the facts.

Submissions 198 - 215 are, all bar one, from Christchurch. 14 are in the same handwriting identical to Daniel Poff's submission, number 204, while 4 others are different but say similar things. None wish to speak to their submission. (Hardly surprising don't you think!)

Submissions 404 - 449 also look like the Poff family's work as well. Three are from Waiouru and incredibly one from the Shell Service Station in Waiouru states a non belief in the use of fossil fuels. See submissions 416, 428, 429.

Really, did these people think that they would actually get away with this? This leaves a grand total of 63 submissions in serious doubt, meaning almost 50% of the supporting submissions need to be discarded leaving only about 10% of all submissions in favour.

Submission 167 endorses a good old fascist approach to problem solving. "Anyone who opposes deserves to have their power cut off." The level of malice in the wind farm camp towards wind farm victims simply takes your breath away.


Will the RMA protect residents from noise or environmental degradation ?

Er, nope, the law protects Mighty River Power.

The Ministry for the Environment 2001/ 2002 survey of local authorities asked councils questions about their use of infringement notices. The disadvantages are listed as follows:

  1. Infringement notices cannot be used to enforce technical conditions of consents and to provide for this an amendment would be needed to the Act and the regulations.
  2. The process does not allow for recovery of monitoring and other costs. This can dissuade councils from using infringement procedures where monitoring costs exceed the infringement fee.
  3. The procedure is expensive if the notice is challenged.If the infringement procedure is not followed exactly or there is a defect in the notice, then the action cannot be pursued


Palmerston North said...

Contact Energy’s plan to build the largest wind turbines in New Zealand near Dannevirke has been blown away by electricity commissioners, who have turned down the power giant’s application to erect 65 of the turbines.

Contact lodged a joint application to Tararua District and Horizons Regional Councils to erect the wind farm on a 3600 ha site in the Waitahora valley south east of Dannevirke, with the hearing into the case wrapping up last month.

At 150m tall, the turbines would have been the largest to be erected in this country, with a generational capacity of 177MW and likely annual generation in the range of 700GWh.

The company was planning to spend $500 million on the farm, which would have produced enough electricity to power up to 86,000 homes.

But commissioners Vern Chettelburgh, David Lea and Chris Mitchell have turned down the application after hearing nine days of submissions.

During the hearing, 25 submissions were heard, with 24 opposing the wind farm.
Submitters opposing the wind farm cited the effect on water quality in the area, doubts over the claimed economic benefits of the wind farm, the noise the farm would create, increased traffic during construction and the usual complaints of visual pollution.

The reaction of thoroughbred horses to wind turbines was also highlighted, with one submitter claiming the wind farm raised a “significant potential danger” to the health of horses on a nearby farm, as thoroughbreds were particularly susceptible to ‘flight’ reaction to perceived threats from unaccustomed sights and sounds.

In making their decision to refuse all applications related to the consent, the commissioners said that the wind farm had “significant potential adverse effects which are not fully understood”, so they could not be avoided or mitigated by conditions.

Noting that a number of submitters made it clear that they would oppose any wind farm, the commissioners emphasised that their decision related only to the current proposal and the information provided to support of it, and there was still an opening for a future wind farm proposal for this site which could be assessed differently.

Contact Energy spokesman Jonathon Hill tells NBR that the company is likely to appeal the decision in the near future.

“Our view is that the more substantive points in the decision can be addressed and we will be seeking to clarify some of those points before making a decision, but it is likely we will appeal the decision once we have that clarification.”

Contact has been showing its commitment to wind farms in the past week, with the revelation that it has been buying up land in the Franklin District as part of its strategy to build the country’s largest windfarm on the coast from Port Waikato to Raglan.

Palmerston North said...

A wind farm planned for a "nationally outstanding" North Canterbury landscape has been rejected.

MainPower's plan to build a wind farm worth up to $200 million on the crest of Mt Cass, east of Waipara, was declined by Hurunui District Council-appointed commissioners yesterday.

Commissioners Paul Rogers, Paul Thomas and Dean Chrystal said a wind farm on the ridge between Mt Cass and Totara Peak would be "inappropriate", because it would degrade an outstanding natural feature of national significance.

Environmental groups yesterday called the decision a win for conservation.

In a double blow for the wind-power industry, Contact Energy's $500m Waitahora project in southern Hawke's Bay was also rejected by council-appointed commissioners yesterday.

New Zealand Wind Energy Association chief executive Fraser Clark said in the past three or four years the majority of wind-farm resource consents had been approved at council level.

"It's certainly a blow to see these two projects declined," he said.

MainPower managing director Allan Berge said the company was deeply disappointed by the decision, calling it a "backward step".

The Mt Cass wind farm had the potential to be a significant step towards energy self-sufficiency for the region, he said.

The company had still to decide whether to appeal.

Forest and Bird South Island field co-ordinator Chris Todd described the decision as "a good victory for conservation".

"Wind power we support, in principle, but this particular site was so unique and so important it was important the right precedent was set. It is nationally outstanding; very rare."

Mt Cass Protection Society president Alec Ford said the ridge's ecological values could have been destroyed.

Expert Dr Colin Burrows had told the hearing the series of limestone ridgelets on the plateau-like area was an outstanding geomorphic feature.

He said "there is no other place in Canterbury with geomorphology like that along the Mt Cass Ridge".

"The decision has gone in favour of conservation and the environment," Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board member Mal Clarbrough said.

Palmerston North said...


Talk about adding insult to injury.
First the resource consent hearings for the proposed Turitea wind farm are whipped away from the people of Palmerston North, then they are told they'll have to fork out nigh on half a million dollars to pay for the privilege.
The Environment Minister "called-in" Mighty River Power's consent application because it was of "national significance" and should be decided by a board of inquiry, not the Palmerston North City Council.
The problem with that - apart from the fact the hearing process has been taken away from the people who will be most affected by its outcome - is the city council is obliged to make a submission to the board of inquiry.
If the consent process had been left with the local authority, it could recoup the costs of gathering detailed information and evidence upon which to base its decision.
Now the consent application has been called in, the city council is merely a submitter, and the cost of having a say on behalf of its citizens - $475,000 - will have to be picked up by ratepayers.
As reported in today's Manawatu Standard, the Government wants to make it easier to call in resource consent applications. The Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment Bill would see more consent decisions taken away from local authorities and heard by an Environmental Protection Agency the Government plans to establish.
Why not just scrap the RMA altogether? There seems little point in retaining it if central government can simply call in any application of "national significance" (a term that seems destined to be interpreted as "political significance") and put it before a board of inquiry appointed by the Government.
The Government clearly believes it is justified in taking major consent hearings away from local authorities, and perhaps it is, but it could at least have the decency to pick up the tab it has left behind.
In its submission on the RMA bill, the city council said local authorities need to be able to recoup costs if consents are called in. It's hard to imagine the Government being so generous when it has no incentive to be.
The interests of local people - those who must live next door to the outcome of consent decisions - have been slaughtered in the alter of "national significance", and local authorities have been told to pay for the funeral.

Palmerston North said...

Up to $150,000 of ratepayers' money will be spent developing a policy for wind farm development in Palmerston North.

But the policy won't be finalised until a board of inquiry rules on Mighty River Power's (MRP) proposed Turitea Wind Farm.

Yesterday, the Palmerston North City Council's planning and policy committee agreed to wait until after the board of inquiry process to finalise guidelines, which would be adopted into the district plan.

Senior policy planner David Murphy said it was pointless creating a policy until that decision had been made, because MRP's proposal covered the last section of the Tararua Ranges within Palmerston North boundaries without a consented wind farm.

If the wind farm was turned down, the council could create a policy covering new wind farm projects.

But, if it was approved, all the space would be used up, so the policy would only have to cover expansion of existing wind farms, Mr Murphy said.

"The outcome of that [decision] will be fundamental to the approach taken for the policy."

He estimated the cost of the policy development to be between $100,000 and $150,000.

That was on top of $475,000 already being spent on the council's submission to the Turitea Wind Farm hearing.

Mr Murphy said much of the work for the Turitea submission would be useful in the policy development. Because it was a district plan policy it had to go through lengthy consultation steps, leading to the extra cost.

Councillors were also asked to endorse recommendations from a group of "technical experts", which said the current district plan should be maintained, with wind farms added as a specific activity with guidelines.

But the word "endorse" was changed to "note" after some councillors questioned whether the council should be publicly stating a position for or against wind farms.

Michael Feyen, who last year set the policy development in motion with a successful notice of motion, said he believed wind farms should become a prohibited activity.

"What we have come to is a position where we can lose our whole environment to appease people who haven't looked after theirs."

Along with Peter Wheeler, Mr Feyen also voted against waiting until after the board of inquiry to finalise the policy.

The next step in the process will be a landscape assessment, to look at the value of the Tararua Ranges.

That was to be done as part of stage two of a landscape study, but councillors agreed the ranges assessment would be done first.

The committee's recommendations will be considered by the full council later this month.

The board of inquiry hearings will begin on July 6.

The Turitea Wind Farm proposal was sent to a board of inquiry after it was called-in by Environment Minister Nick Smith.

Palmerston North said...


The main reason why we the Palmerston North ratepayers are liable to be confronted with a unplanned half million dollar bill for submitting on the massive industrial site of the worlds largest wind turbines is because Mighty River Power [MRP] broke its contract with the City Council.
Sure the contract was weak and without any real out clauses, but a contract it was regardless of its quality. Our mayor saying, ‘There’s money in them hills" did not help us. Never the less a contract / land-lease did exist and was signed and sealed and in force.
The Council and MRP had agreed on a process by which MRP’s would seek consent via the normal process. The first step was to seek a change of zone. That was done. But then MRP had second thoughts and I believe was deeply concerned that its request for approval via the RMA would fail. MRP was even before the zone change was approved secretly doing deals with various landowners around the Turitea Reserve area. I believe that the MRP tactical adviser recommended that they should get the Minister to call in the project and thereby leap frog the agreed step of having their case heard by the local council via the RMA process.
Environment Minister Nick Smith, the new National Government environmental whiz kid accepted MRP’s request eagerly. Along with Rodney Hide the new Local Government Minister and Act Party Leader, he had promised during the election campaign to slash government regulations. Rodney also said he was going to represent ratepayers rather than councils…well, he has a strange way of showing it…but words are cheap.
This very same Nick Smith has suggested that the PNCC doesn’t need to make a submission, thereby ensuring that their evidence is kept from the Inquiry he set up. Or if that evidence is to be introduced that those opposing MRP should foot the bill. He of course forgets that based on the submissions most of the city opposes the industrial wind farm site.
Under the normal process council would have recovered the money from MRP. This means that MRP will have a further half a million dollars to add to its already huge Public Relations spend up in buying off the public and selected land owners as well as shouting the local Chamber of Commerce breakfast.
The Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment Bill 2009 proposes to increase the scope of call-in powers, and to establish an Environmental Protection Agency to administer call-ins. A summary of the bill states the "intention of the reforms is to make greater use of the existing board of inquiry process, but to also improve the capacity for local authorities and communities to have confidence and involvement in that process".
The statement above of government intent is full of utter garbage. How can local authorities and communities have confidence and involvement in that process" when they have to spend millions to be represented? Smith’s answer ‘Don’t submit’ how dumb can he be? Are councils not the first step in the democratic process? Both the Tararua and Horizons councils rejected contact Energy’s request for a wind farm just up the road [Puketoi Ranges]. We have yet to hear if Contact will appeal. It is clear that in the first instance local councils have decided based on the kind of facts that the PNCC would use, listened and agreed with the locals. And rightly Contact pays the bill…as would have happened in MRP’s case had it followed normal and agreed practice, but alas MRP used its political power to avoid this possible outcome. Buying out uncaring and possibly greedy land speculators or owners who have suddenly fallen in love with turbines is the in thing. Maybe MRP believe there is money in them hills as stated foolishly by the mayor…who knows?