Wind farms policy

 

Preamble

Greater Wellington Regional Council (GW) is proposing to build a wind farm in the Puketiro Forest, which covers the hills forming the eastern boundary to the Pauatahanui Inlet catchment. Other proposals for wind farms in the Inlet catchment may well eventuate in the near future. The Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet (GOPI) has defined a policy so we can react to resource consent and other relevant issues associated with wind farms.

The Management Committee will continuously review the policy as plans develop and more information about the current proposal becomes available, particularly about the location and size of turbines and how turbine components will be taken to wind farm sites.


Wind farms Policy

 

The Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet (GOPI) opposes any activity associated with wind farms that may potentially have a negative impact on the ecology of the Inlet. GOPI will advocate for the prevention or mitigation of potential adverse effects during all stages of construction and operation of the wind farm, including accessory activities, e.g. associated roading and transport activity.

GOPI will not take a strong position regarding potential adverse impacts of wind farms on the landscape and amenity values of the Inlet. It will, however, monitor developments and argue, if necessary, to keep these to a minor level where this will not affect the viability of the operation of the wind farm.

 

Policy formulated May 2008, amended August 2009

 

Contact us

Please email your comments and questions about this policy or write to the Secretary, Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet, PO Box 37034, Mana, Porirua 5247, New Zealand.

 

Read more about the reasons for our policy below.

 

Current wind farm proposals

In 2005 the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GW) sought public feedback on the concept of placing a wind farm with about 20 turbines on GW land. Respondents overwhelmingly supported the principle and GW appointed consultants (RES) to design the farm.

In 2007 RES produced a plan that provided for more than 50 turbines, each of a height considerably greater than those originally suggested. The plan also extended the area into some adjoining private land.

This enlarged plan has drawn extensive criticism locally, most of it about factors that would not directly affect the values of the Inlet. However, the number and height of the turbines will add a prominent artificial feature to the skyline of the eastern catchment hills and this does raise the question of whether the farm will adversely affect the perceived visual amenity value of the Inlet catchment.

 

Relevance to the Guardians aims and objectives

The Rules of the Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet Inc. state that the objects of the society shall include:

3(a) Consistently with its ecological values, to encourage, promote, protect, maintain and foster the natural, historic and cultural values of the Pauatahanui Inlet.

3(b) To represent all members of the Society and the views and interests of the citizens of the region in matters affecting the Inlet.

The outflow of sediment and other pollutants from the earthworks required to build and maintain the turbine sites and the roads necessary to service them are obvious potential risks to Inlet ecology and environment. Stormwater drainage from these new hard surfaces is a continuing further risk.

Also, because wind flow requirements will see the turbines sited in prominent positions, the wind farms will have an impact on landscape and on the aesthetic and visual values of the Inlet catchment basin.

 

Assessing the views of members

Visual amenity is not covered by the set of values in rule 3(a) and we therefore decided to canvass GOPI members' views on wind farms. In December 2007 members were asked for their opinions on wind farms in general and the conditions on which they would accept wind farm development within the Inlet catchment.

It is clear from this survey that there is an overwhelming desire from the members for GOPI to maintain its opposition to any significant deterioration of the ecological values of the Inlet.

It is equally clear that opinion among members is widely divided about the need for GOPI to strive with similar vigour to protect landscape and amenity values.

On the basis of this survey the Management Committee adopted the above policy on wind farms in the Inlet catchment.

 


 


 


 

 

Last Updated: 14/12/2015 12:01am