The wind farm is sinking Palmerston North property values – these March statistics are from QV New Zealand.There is much worse to come.

Auckland Region


New Plymouth

Palmerston Nth



For the latest click on "HOME" 






Wellington Rgn



These are facts you can't argue against and Palmerston North property owners have PNCC and Mighty River Power, a commercial arm of the Government, to thank as the country heads into what could turn out be a protracted depression. The year on year decline in real estate values is even more telling when you consider that the city is strategically located as a transport hub, has a university, an International College, two military bases and a variety of research centres.
Wind power is a complete disasterPosted: April 08, 2009, 7:29 PM by NP Editor
By Michael J. Trebilcock

There is no evidence that industrial wind power is likely to have a significant impact on carbon emissions. The European experience is instructive. Denmark, the world’s most wind-intensive nation, with more than 6,000 turbines generating 19% of its electricity, has yet to close a single fossil-fuel plant. It requires 50% more coal-generated electricity to cover wind power’s unpredictability, and pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have risen (by 36% in 2006 alone). Flemming Nissen, the head of development at West Danish generating company ELSAM (one of Denmark’s largest energy utilities) tells us that “wind turbines do not reduce carbon dioxide emissions.” The German experience is no different. Der Spiegel reports that “Germany’s CO2 emissions haven’t been reduced by even a single gram,” and additional coal- and gas-fired plants have been constructed to ensure reliable delivery.Indeed, recent academic research shows that wind power may actually increase greenhouse gas emissions in some cases, depending on the carbon-intensity of back-up generation required because of its intermittent character. On the negative side of the environmental ledger are adverse impacts of industrial wind turbines on birdlife and other forms of wildlife, farm animals, wetlands and viewsheds.Industrial wind power is not a viable economic alternative to other energy conservation options. Again, the Danish experience is instructive. Its electricity generation costs are the highest in Europe (15¢/kwh compared to Ontario’s current rate of about 6¢). Niels Gram of the Danish Federation of Industries says, “windmills are a mistake and economically make no sense.” Aase Madsen , the Chair of Energy Policy in the Danish Parliament, calls it “a terribly expensive disaster.” The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in 2008, on a dollar per MWh basis, the U.S. government subsidizes wind at $23.34 — compared to reliable energy sources: natural gas at 25¢; coal at 44¢; hydro at 67¢; and nuclear at $1.59, leading to what some U.S. commentators call “a huge corporate welfare feeding frenzy.” The Wall Street Journal advises that “wind generation is the prime example of what can go wrong when the government decides to pick winners.”
Click this link for the full story and some perceptive and professional comments..
Michael J. Trebilcock is Professor of Law and Economics, University of Toronto. These comments were excerpted from a submission last night (7/4/09) to the Ontario government’s legislative committee On Bill 150.
More people are waking up to what has been happening to the "climate", see this link submitted to this website by a very concerned city resident.
Viscount Monckton a world authority on climate change has set a scientific standard that alarmists can not rebut.
On March 25th 2009, Christopher Monckton gave testimony before the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce. That testimony gave rise to a letter to both Democrat Ed Markey and Republican Joe Barton, members of the committee. The letter has been posted here,
and is essential reading for all decision makers, in particular the Turitea Board of Enquiry. To claim that this wind farm will influence climate change is simply nonsense spouted by " rent seekers" exploiting the public's scientific and technological ignorance.
But wait there's more!
Scientists at Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have succeeded in unlocking the potential of carbon dioxide – a common greenhouse gas – by converting it into a more useful product. ( NB: Water vapor constitutes Earth's most significant greenhouse gas, accounting for about 95% of Earth's greenhouse effect - CO2 is insignificant, see
In the international chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, the IBN researchers report that by using organocatalysts, they activated carbon dioxide in a mild and non-toxic process to produce methanol, a widely used industrial feedstock and clean-burning biofuel. 16/4/09
There is a problem with "green" jobs.
Green Stimulus Money Costs More Jobs Than It Creates, Study Shows, April 13, 2009 By Josiah Ryan, Staff Writer

( - Every “green job” created with government money in Spain over the last eight years came at the cost of 2.2 regular jobs, and only one in10 of the green jobs created became a permanent job, says a new study released this month that also draws parallels with the green jobs programs of the Obama administration.
Click this link for the full story. (also posted as a comment - New Zealand is about to make the same mistake here with Turitea disaster if it is approved )

Cost of renewable energy soars
at the same time as more cheap gas reserves are discovered in NewZealand.
See the second comment below for the report by Garry Sheeran published 12/4/09 in the
Sunday Star Times.
Building plans outrage
A council decision to grant a resource consent to a developer, involving land termed "undevelopable", could see neighbouring residents lose hundreds of thousands of dollars on their property value
PNCC really looks after its citizens. If people think this is bad news for the real estate market, just wait until the turbines go up. Check out this link, which is also posted as the third comment.


Palmerston North said...


Monday, April 13, 2009
By Josiah Ryan, Staff Writer

( - Every “green job” created with government money in Spain over the last eight years came at the cost of 2.2 regular jobs, and only one in10 of the green jobs created became a permanent job, says a new study released this month that also draws parallels with the green jobs programs of the Obama administration.

President Obama, in fact, has used Spain’s green initiative as a blueprint for how the United States should use federal funds to stimulate the economy. But the author of the study, Dr. Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at Juan Carlos University in Madrid, said the United States should expect results similar to those in Spain – the economic stimulus package for America passed in February and allocates billions of dollars to the green jobs industry.

"Spain’s experience (cited by President Obama as a model) reveals with high confidence, by two different methods, that the U.S. should expect a loss of at least 2.2 jobs on average, or about 9 jobs lost for every 4 created, to which we have to add those jobs that non-subsidized investments with the same resources would have created,” wrote Calzada in his report: Study of the Effects on Employment of Public Aid to Renewable Energy Sources.

Obama has repeatedly said that the United States should look to Spain as an example of a country that has successfully applied federal money to green initiatives in order to stimulate its economy.

“Think of what’s happening in countries like Spain, Germany and Japan, where they’re making real investments in renewable energy,” said Obama while lobbying Congress, in January to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. “They’re surging ahead of us, poised to take the lead in these new industries.”

“Their governments have harnessed their people’s hard work and ingenuity with bold investments — investments that are paying off in good, high-wage jobs — jobs they won’t lose to other countries,” said Obama. “There is no reason we can’t do the same thing right here in America. … In the process, we’ll put nearly half a million people to work building wind turbines and solar panels; constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings; and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to new jobs, more savings, and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain.”

Included in the stimulus package, for example, was $4.5 billion to convert government buildings into high-performance green buildings.

According to the Calzada’s study, Spain is a strong example of government spending money on green ideas to stimulate its economy.

“No other country has given such broad support to the construction and production of electricity through renewable sources,” says the report. “The arguments for Spain’s and Europe’s ‘green jobs’ schemes are the same arguments now made in the U.S., principally that massive public support would produce large numbers of green jobs.”

But in the study’s introduction Calzada argues that the renewable jobs program hindered, rather than helped, Spain’s attempts to emerge from its recession.

“The study’s results show how such ‘green jobs’ policy clearly hinders Spain’s way out of the current economic crisis, even while U.S. politicians insist that rushing into such a scheme will ease their own emergence from the turmoil,” says Calzada. “This study marks the very first time a critical analysis of the actual performance and impact has been made."

Pat Michaels, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute, a free market group, told that the study’s conclusions do not surprise him. He added that the United States should expect similar results with the stimulus money it spends on green initiatives.

“There is no reason to think things will be any different here,” Michaels said. “In the short run you have to ask who is doing the hiring, and in the long run how efficient is it to have people serving technology such as windmills. We are creating inefficiencies.”

Michaels also said he was not surprised by the study’s finding that only one out of 10 jobs were permanent.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” said Michaels. “When we see how imperfect wind energy is and how expensive it is to maintain -- I think many of those jobs will become impermanent here in the U.S. as well.”

Inquiries for comment to the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Center for American Progress were not answered before this story went to press.

Palmerston North said...


Rob Jager, Shell's New Zealand Country chairman, purrs contentedly to journalists at a briefing in the tiny control room in downtown New Plymouth of the unmanned Pohokura gas production facility, 8km away and out at sea.

"Am I pleased with Pohokura? You could say I'm ecstatic," says Jager. "If only we had another two or three Pohokuras."

Pohokura is a sophisticated facility which began producing gas two years ago and now provides 40% of all the gas used for electricity generation.

Already it's pumping nearly half of what the giant Maui gas field did in its hey-day, says Jager, and its gas reserves were officially upgraded last year by 24%. Future drilling at Pohokura could mean a substantial growth in those reserves, he says.

An hour's drive away, and inland, at Todd Energy's McKee/Mangahewa gas field, chief executive Richard Tweedie says the death of gas-fired electricity stations has been greatly exaggerated. "The assumption that gas is in decline is wrong," says Tweedie. New Zealand was supposed to run out of gas by next year.

He believes known gas reserves will last New Zealand "well beyond 2030". Tweedie also announces that Todd Energy will build a new gas-fired 200 megawatt power station, probably in Taranaki.

With the new Government's axing of the ban on base-load thermal generation, the local natural gas exploration and production industry is standing tall and sounding optimistic.

So, too, are big electricity users who say the greater recognition of the place of gas in producing electricity may spell good news on the price front.

Ralph Mathes, of the Major Electricity Users Group, says the previous government's preference for getting ahead of the rest of the world in pricing carbon into the economy meant the country was heading down the path of higher-cost renewables.

He says a much lower exchange rate may also be altering the economic argument in favour of non-renewables such as gas.

"Windfarms are more capital intensive and the machinery is all imported," he says. "So maybe you are better to build a gas station and pay for local gas in local dollars."

If "getting things in perspective on climate change" has implications for electricity pricing, so too does the ministerial review of the electricity market.

Besides covering security of supply and electricity sector governance, the review will also look at the affordability of electricity to consumers.

The fact that the review was announced only days after consumers were warned of retail price rises was not the only irony. For two weeks previously, the wholesale price of power had been heading significantly down. In fact, forward wholesale prices have been on a downward trend since November last year.

At that time, after a dry winter and with lake levels still low before melting snows kicked in, the market was predicting prices of 9c/kwh in the third quarter in 2009. By mid-March that had fallen to 6.6c, and last week was at 7c.

Summer and early autumn rains have meant current lake levels are above average full, the opposite of this time last year. At the same time demand is low, mainly because a potline at the Bluff aluminium smelter is out of action. And thermal generators have got planned outages behind them, and are prepared to run hard all winter if needed.

But once again, while the benefit of lower prices may be flowing through to the wholesale market, retail customers must cope with continued rises. What is driving power bills ever higher is the cost of building new power stations and, even more significantly, the huge cost of upgrading the transmission network.

Energy minister Gerry Brownlee says the government is looking for ways "to get off the escalator of power price rises", but energy consumer advocate Molly Melhuish is not expecting the review to do much for power affordability, especially for low-income consumers.

"While Brownlee and other government ministers insist on their share of dividends and profits from SOE generators, they are putting their own revenues above consumers."

While sounding tough on power price rises, Brownlee has also indicated that the review would not result in a radical shakeup in the market or a return to a more centrally-controlled approach.

Melhuish says the current market structure meant it was perfectly legal for generators to use their market power to maximise their profits and charge what the market could bear.

Mathes says big generators such as Meridian have the market power to set prices as it sees fit "and everyone else follows".

He also believes SOEs have been able to work the electricity system to reap excess profits by revaluing their assets as justification. Meridian had made two revaluations of assets of around $1b each, which allowed it to argue a modest rate of return.


Electricity prices rose 72% from 2002-08. CPI increased 29% during the same time.

Profits for the Big Five generators rose from $287m to $760m from 2002-07.

The three SOE generators made nearly $4b of profits from 1999-2008. They handed $2.6b of that back to the government.

The value of the Big Five generators' assets rose from $8.5b to $16.8b during 2003-08.

Palmerston North said...

A multimillion-dollar property development involving the filling of a Palmerston North gully is set to trigger a costly three-way legal battle between residents, the city council and developer Les Fugle.

Mr Fugle's company Pacific Farms Ltd applied for a resource consent to fill a gully system, including Johnstone Gully, in June last year.

The project could see more than 650,000 cubic metres of dirt used, with preliminary plans suggesting the entire development could allow for 600 sections.

Work to strip the site, alongside Johnstone Drive and Ron Place, began in July - well before consent was approved in October.

But residents who bought homes overlooking the gully did so believing that land was 'undevelopable', as specified in Land Information Memorandum [LIM] reports and the council's district plan.

Some real estate agents had also promoted the land, on the same understanding, as a reserve.

Home owners bordering the development now face several years of construction and the prospect of having new houses built against their rear boundaries.

This, combined with a weakened housing market, has reduced the value of their properties by upwards of $50,000 each.

Andrew Carpenter said he expected to lose close to $100,000 on the sale of his Johnstone Drive home.

He and wife Kirsty purchased it only two years ago.

They have moved to Wanganui but are yet to find a buyer, despite dropping the asking price considerably, he said.

"It's hard to know how much is due to the development or the market. But we've had a lot of people come through only for them to look over the fence, see the diggers going round and that's it, they're not interested," Mr Carpenter said.

"We're reasonably lucky because we found a house here [Wanganui] that is much nicer. But not everyone can afford to do what we have.

"There are others trying to sell who are simply stuck right now."

LJ Hooker sales agent Ivan Johnstone said there had been a big drop in prices throughout the affected area, where he also lives.

"Any large earth-moving operation cannot assist property values and sales," he said.

"[The] quicker the works are completed the better for all concerned."

Residents v council

Residents are considering legal action against the council to have the resource consent overturned.

Those affected are angry about being led to believe the gully was "undevelopable" and angrier still council principal planner Virginia Shaw approved the resource consent without public consultation.

Her decision can only be challenged by Judicial Review in the High Court - at a cost exceeding $50,000.

Ms Shaw cited the Resource Management Act as to why the normal consultation process would not be permitted, explaining that the work was "minor" and that "no person will be adversely affected by the activity".

Her report, dated November 1, 2007, also noted the development "involves a significant amount of earthworks . . . not common in Palmerston North".

A Pacific Drive homeowner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the council's stance raised serious questions about whom they claim to represent.

"It's absolutely ridiculous that one council officer can make a decision, even if she thinks she's followed the rules, that has such a massive impact on so many people.

"It's even worse that the council knows the only way we can challenge the decision is by taking them to court. Why should anyone have to pay $60,000 just to be heard?

"Where is the democracy in that?", he said.

"Is the average person supposed to know that 'undevelopable' actually means 'developable with consent'? You can't twist the English language to mean that no matter how hard you try and it's a very serious misrepresentation."

His sentiments are echoed by others, including one Laurie Way couple who have sought legal advice.

Their lawyer, in a written letter, said he believed the residents had a strong case but warned of the cost involved in they took action.

City Contact general manager Peter Eathorne said the council would defend its position if taken to court as they had not made any mistakes in the process.

If another application was received to fill a gully today and it met the criteria, the result would be no different, he said.

"When a staff member under authority - and Virginia is a very experienced planner - is looking at this type of application our legal advisers say we have no grounds to consider anything else other than the geo-technical issues," he said.

"Under the current district plan those are the rules. I certainly have sympathy for the residents. They have looked at the big picture and seen this massive housing development but we can only look at the application to fill a gully. That area has been designated as residential and in principal that's allowed as a right in this city."

Mr Eathorne said the term 'undevelopable' was not a legal definition but an interpretation of the land's current status.

That status can change if an application is made to do so.

"I can understand why they've taken it at face value, however I'm also concerned there were no steps to check what that might mean," he said.

"Nothing in our LIMs should be taken at face value because things are always subject to change."

Council v Les Fugle

The city council has launched three separate prosecutions against Mr Fugle and his company, Pacific Farms Ltd, over the work undertaken to date.

The charges include operating without consent and breaching the conditions of the resource consent after it was approved.

Under the Resource Management Act, a prison term or fine of up to $250,000 can be handed down.

Mr Eathorne said the first council knew of the earthworks was when residents alerted it that the land was being stripped and burnt off in late July.

Since then, the council had received constant complaints over dust, noise and smoke, and abatement notices had been issued, he said.

"The primary driver here is we have a developer who hasn't complied with the council process. He's been quoted in public meetings saying 'if the council prosecute me that's just the cost of business'.

"[Initially] he was carrying out works without consent, then he objected to the consent conditions and carried on anyway. Then finally he got a consent but ignored the conditions," Mr Eathorne said.

"He's fought us constantly but we don't have the power to shut him down, only the courts do."

The council began legal proceedings in October, but a hearing date has yet to be set.

Mr Fugle said he "vigorously denied" the charges laid.

His defence, he said, was that the initial work did not require a resource consent and he had lodged an appeal with the Environment Court over the conditions later put in place. "[The consent] basically said we must be finished within six months. Quite frankly that's poor engineering planning and leaves the entire site open to erosion and dust, which is exactly what the residents don't like. We've vigorously opposed the conditions but the council officer refused to hear our objections."

The council had also breached its own protocols, he said.

"We applied for the consent in June 2007 and they have 20 working days to respond, and can extend that to 40 days under certain circumstances. But it didn't come through until what, October/ November. That's closer to 100 days," he said.

Mr Fugle said his company had invested "millions" in the project, though planning for the land was still in the early stages.


The term "undevelopable" when used in a LIM report does not mean what you might think. Under the Palmerston North City Council's district plan, it is an interpretation of the land's status. But that status can be changed to "developable" if an application is made to restructure it and geo- technical information is provided to support the change.

Palmerston North said...


Greg Roberts | April 18, 2009

Article from:

ICE is expanding in much of Antarctica, contrary to the widespread public belief that global warming is melting the continental ice cap.

The results of ice-core drilling and sea ice monitoring indicate there is no large-scale melting of ice over most of Antarctica, although experts are concerned at ice losses on the continent's western coast.

Antarctica has 90 per cent of the Earth's ice and 80 per cent of its fresh water. Extensive melting of Antarctic ice sheets would be required to raise sea levels substantially, and ice is melting in parts of west Antarctica. The destabilisation of the Wilkins ice shelf generated international headlines this month.

However, the picture is very different in east Antarctica, which includes the territory claimed by Australia.

East Antarctica is four times the size of west Antarctica and parts of it are cooling. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research report prepared for last week's meeting of Antarctic Treaty nations in Washington noted the South Pole had shown "significant cooling in recent decades".

Australian Antarctic Division glaciology program head Ian Allison said sea ice losses in west Antarctica over the past 30 years had been more than offset by increases in the Ross Sea region, just one sector of east Antarctica.

"Sea ice conditions have remained stable in Antarctica generally," Dr Allison said.

The melting of sea ice -- fast ice and pack ice -- does not cause sea levels to rise because the ice is in the water. Sea levels may rise with losses from freshwater ice sheets on the polar caps. In Antarctica, these losses are in the form of icebergs calved from ice shelves formed by glacial movements on the mainland.

Last week, federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett said experts predicted sea level rises of up to 6m from Antarctic melting by 2100, but the worst case scenario foreshadowed by the SCAR report was a 1.25m rise.

Mr Garrett insisted global warming was causing ice losses throughout Antarctica. "I don't think there's any doubt it is contributing to what we've seen both on the Wilkins shelf and more generally in Antarctica," he said.

Dr Allison said there was not any evidence of significant change in the mass of ice shelves in east Antarctica nor any indication that its ice cap was melting. "The only significant calvings in Antarctica have been in the west," he said. And he cautioned that calvings of the magnitude seen recently in west Antarctica might not be unusual.

"Ice shelves in general have episodic carvings and there can be large icebergs breaking off -- I'm talking 100km or 200km long -- every 10 or 20 or 50 years."

Ice core drilling in the fast ice off Australia's Davis Station in East Antarctica by the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-Operative Research Centre shows that last year, the ice had a maximum thickness of 1.89m, its densest in 10 years. The average thickness of the ice at Davis since the 1950s is 1.67m.

A paper to be published soon by the British Antarctic Survey in the journal Geophysical Research Letters is expected to confirm that over the past 30 years, the area of sea ice around the continent has expanded

Palmerston North said...

FEB 26 2010

Facts don’t support climate campaigners
Barry Brill
Barry Brill OBE JP LL.M (Hons) M. ComLaw. He is the chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, and was a Minister of Science in the 1978-1981 National Government.

A recent article in The Gisborne Herald said “warming has been accelerating over the past 20 years”, and there is “a runaway greenhouse effect”, and “rising sea levels”, but none of these things are real.

It is disturbing so many people involved in the ongoing debate don’t know what the actual observations of the Earth’s temperature show.

Below are the missing scientific facts based on official data, which don’t depend on theories or opinions or ideology, and the hard facts of global warming may surprise you.

There are many peer-reviewed scientific studies indicating that we should blame the 1980-98 warming blip on natural cycles, clouds, oceanic cooling, cosmic rays, sunspots and other solar influences.

It may turn out that there is no world climate, only many local climates — and, like the weather, they may prove to be forever chaotic and unpredictable.

Meantime, let’s not do anything stupid.

MISSING FACT 1: The major part of the world’s warming in the past century occurred before 1940, and is entirely natural.

Between 1940 - 1980 the world cooled. In the 1970s, both world-wide and New Zealand media ran cover stories about the threat of famine and disease resulting from global cooling, and the pending return of ice ages.

It was around 1980 that the current slight warming began. By 1990 it was two-tenths of a degree C above average and scientists were not sure if that was significant. But then it dropped for a few years until a super-strong El Nino intervened and probably made 1998 the warmest year of the century.

MISSING FACT 2: The whole issue of global warming rests on less than 20 years of the world getting warmer. Then the warming stopped.

This was the subject of argument for several years, but recently, the journal “Science” accepted that the pause in global temperatures is real. Dr Phil Jones, the man at the centre of the “Climategate” storm, recently told the BBC that “there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995”.

Palmerston North said...

MISSING FACT 3: The world hasn’t got any warmer this century. Although we live in a relatively warm decade, this is all a follow-on from the 1980-98 jump. There is no upward trend, just a plateau.

Leading IPCC modellers have gone on record as predicting that this temperature pause will last for 30 years. Others contend a new warming trend might emerge as early as 2014. We can all agree on one thing – nobody knows.

MISSING FACT 4: IPPC projections of large temperature increases over the next 100 years assume a world population of 15 billion or more. But official UN predictions are that population will peak at less than 9 billion in about 2050, and then decline.

The IPCC rightly says it can’t predict the future; it can only model the effect of “scenarios” and average the results. The IPCC uses controversial scenarios dependent on poor countries becoming super-rich, and zero shortages of oil and gas. These are the sole basis of all the scary predictions used by climate activists and by the media.

MISSING FACT 5: Human-caused carbon dioxide, even when added to methane and other greenhouse gases, is not capable of raising future global temperatures by more than 1 degC. The real argument is about water vapour.

This is accepted by all climate scientists and derives from basic laws of physics. Everybody also agrees any global warming (however caused) will mean more evaporation from the seas. While the IPCC assumes extra water vapour will create a “second round greenhouse effect”, many other scientists believe the evaporation process has a cooling effect, and that the extra clouds keep the earth’s surface cool by dimming the sunlight.

MISSING FACT 6: Since CO2 measurements began 60 years ago there have been less than 20 years when both CO2 and temperature were increasing together. The correlation is very weak.

CO2 is a trace gas in the earth’s atmosphere, rising from 0.0028 percent to 0.0038 percent over the 20th century. The IPCC argues that this must be the reason for the small warming trend, because they haven’t yet been able to model any other satisfactory explanation. This is a poor case, and rather circular, because it depends on being confident that the IPCC has a perfect grasp of all the factors which drive all the world’s climates.

Computer models shouldn’t drive our future.