Library filed under Impact on Landscape from Australia / New Zealand
Forest and Bird would look at supporting smaller wind farm projects, such as the one near Gore by TrustPower, but not Project Hayes. Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society vice-president Janet Ledingham told the commissioners hearing Meridian Energy's Project Hayes application yesterday the group was not sure whether other places in Central Otago would be suitable for wind farms. "Central Otago is one of the most difficult areas because of the landscape," she said.
The Dunedin City Council says the proposed Mahinerangi wind farm will have an adverse impact on its landscape, despite no turbines being built within its boundaries. TrustPower had initially proposed a wind farm which included land within Dunedin but, after consulta tion, it had scaled back its proposal to a 200MW wind farm, solely within the Clutha district. In a council submission yesterday, city council landscape architect Barry Knox said the wind farm would have a significant adverse effect on the broad natural character values of the Lammermoor range and its high country outstanding landscape area, within the Dunedin city.
The site chosen for Meridian Energy's proposed wind farm on the Lammermoor Range west of Middlemarch was not an outstanding landscape and was of no particular significance, the first day of Project Hayes hearings in Alexandra was told yesterday.
The green light to build the world's biggest wind farm in Central Otago hinges on consent hearings which got underway on Monday. Meridian Energy wants to erect more than 170 giant turbines many as tall as a 45-storey building in an area opponents say is too beautiful to be spoiled.
The Maori Party has today welcomed the findings of the Environment Court in ruling against the erection of 37 turbines along Te Waka Range skyline on the Napier-Taupo Road. "The site of the Te Waka -Titiohanga-Maungaharuru range is a distinctive feature of the Hawkes Bay" said Maori Party Co-leader, Dr Pita Sharples. "It creates an unique skyline which has great value as a landform, as a recreation resource, and a milestone landmark".
The Environment Court has ruled in favour of Maori spiritual values over an energy company's bid to erect dozens of wind turbines on a Hawke's Bay mountain range. The court said the 37 turbines would go against Maori spiritual values, including the site's history, water and sacred areas. Judge Craig Thompson said it was impossible not to absorb some of the depth of emotion expressed about the attachment of people to the area. Such rulings have in the past been subject to ridicule from business developers and politicians.
Opponents of a wind farm planned for a ridgeline west of Hawke's Bay are celebrating after winning an Environment Court appeal. Hastings-based lines company Unison was granted permission by Hastings District Council to add 37 turbines to 15 for which it already had consent along the Te Waka Range skyline, around the Titiokura Saddle on the Napier-Taupo Road. But the Environment Court said the cumulative visual effects of the 37 extra turbines and another 75 turbines to be built alongside them by Hawke's Bay Windfarms would be excessive in a sensitive and distinctive landscape.
A wind farm development near Wellington has been threatened by Government climate change proposals that could add a $1.5 million penalty for chopping down "junky" pine trees. Under climate change discussion papers published earlier this year, the Government proposed a series of measures to discourage deforestation, including tradeable permits and flat charges for tree removal. Greater Wellington regional council is proposing to build 30 three-megawatt turbines on ridges at Puketiro, northeast of Pauatahanui, by 2010. Between 100 and 120 hectares of pine trees would be cut down for the wind farm, the environmental cost of which, according to the Government proposals, would be $13,000 a hectare. If such a charge were imposed on Puketiro, the regional council would be liable for a bill of between $1.3million and $1.5 million.
The Environment Court found that while the proposal would have positive effects in terms of climate change and had benefits in establishing a renewable energy source, this was outweighed by landscape effects and the affects on the value of the Te Waka range to local tangata whenua. "Important as the issues of climate change and the use of renewable sources of energy unquestionably are, they cannot dominate all other values. The adverse effects of the proposal on what is undoubtedly an outstanding landscape, and its adverse effects on the relationship of Maori with this land and the values it has for them, clearly bring us to the conclusion that the tipping point in favour of other values has been reached," said the decision.
An environmental expert from Rockefeller University in New York says renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass are environmentally destructive.
Wind turbines being proposed for a development near Hawkesdale will be invisible from the Tower Hill lookout and a landscape expert believes the 31-tower project won't change the character of Moyne Shire. Landscape architect Allan Wyatt told a panel hearing yesterday that strategic tree plantings would reduce the visibility of turbines from most neighbouring houses.
Turbines higher than 50-storeyed buildings on the Lammermoor Range would dominate the landscape and the Central Otago District Council's planner has recommended the Project Hayes wind farm proposal be turned down. The planning consultant's report, released to the public yesterday, expresses concern about Meridian Energy's $2 billion proposal and the effects on the iconic landscape.
Opponents of a 37-turbine wind farm proposed to be built on Te Waka Range, west of Napier, say it will have significant adverse effects on the environment and the visual landscape. The Environment Court is considering evidence from three organisations including local iwi opposed to the wind farm. It would provide sufficient power for 50,000 households. Counsel for the Outstanding Landscape Preservation Society says the site is within an area considered an outstanding natural landscape. Mathew McClelland says the turbines will dominate and disrupt the visual landscape and compromise the range's integrity. He says the benefits of wind power are undeniable but it is totally inappropriate to put turbines on the top of the range as they will appear as a clutter of mechanical structures.
Maori have attacked plans for more wind turbines in the Tararua Ranges, saying turbines are weakening the mauri (life force) and mana of the hill tops.
Maori have attacked plans for more wind turbines in the Tararua Ranges, saying turbines are weakening the mauri (life force) and mana of the hill tops. He Kupenga Hao i te Reo (Inc) secretary Ian Christensen objected to the proposed Motorimu Wind Farm at the resource consent hearing in Palmerston North yesterday. It proposes 127 turbines for the hills behind Tokomaru and Linton. He told the three commissioners that the Tararua ridge line had enough turbines and "further desecration of the ridgeline" with more would weaken mauri to a point where the "wellbeing of people would be in jeopardy". "Manawatu has been desecrated by the pollution of human beings. We urge that the whole of the mountain range not be desecrated as well," he said.
When looking at the visual effects of hundreds of turbines on the Tararua Ranges, should a wind farm that doesn't exist be taken into account? This question is starting to loom large over Motorimu Wind Farm Ltd's application to build a 127-turbine wind farm on the Tararua Ranges behind Linton and Tokomaru. Yesterday was the third day of the resource consent hearing and the debate over how much consideration should be given to the proposed Palmerston North City Council/ Mighty River Power Turitea Reserve wind farm continued. Experts and lawyers representing the applicant say the proposed Turitea Reserve wind farm should not have any bearing on Motorimu's consent application. The debate centres around how many turbines the Tararua Ranges can support before it hits saturation level.
The visual effect of more wind turbines on an already crowded landscape could cost the proposed Motorimu wind farm 45 turbines. Motorimu Wind Farm Ltd (formerly Energreen Wind) has applied for resource consent to build a wind farm with 129 turbines. In a report to the consent hearing, due to begin next Thursday, Palmerston North City Council planner Jeff Baker recommends consent be granted for only 84 of the turbines. In a visual assessment report, landscape and resource planning consultant Clive Anstey said the wind farm as proposed would have very adverse cumulative effects.
A new landscape guardians group has been set up to fight plans for two big wind farms. The Western Plains Guardians are worried about proposals for farms at Nerrin Nerrin, south-east of Lake Bolac, and at Stockyard Hill, south of Beaufort. Each is believed to have at least 100 turbines. Group spokesman Warick Read says a moratorium on further wind farms is needed until a national code for assessing them is in place. "The groups really would like to see the Government engage with the community a little bit more and just say, 'look, just pull up on these things a little'," he said. "I suppose people are feeling as though they're being railroaded into it, that these companies propose these developments and they're over a certain size and the council doesn't really have any input into it at all. "If only they could open the guidelines a little bit more and make it a lot more transparent."
As I said, until yesterday, my thoughts and feelings were of two minds. Yesterday, that changed. Yesterday we came up onto the Lammermoors, and turned off onto a flat area beside a huge rock outcrop. We got out and looked around, standing in silence for a time, listening to the whispering grasses and the southerly wind plucking fitfully at our hair and clothes. What do you think? I asked Alex. He stood there for a time, absorbed, considering his answer (as he does) and then he replied: It’s beautiful. It’s really beautiful. As we looked across the vast moor, across the Great Moss Swamp, I told him about the wind farm, about what was proposed. Again there was silence, while he thought about it. I don’t get it, he said. How can they do that to a landscape like this? It’s just awful. We stayed there, attempting to absorb the vastness before us.
Most of the public do not want to have wind turbines in the Turitea reserve because it will destroy the Turitea bush