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Manukau City Council Opposes Transpower Plan

Media release 20 July 2005

Manukau City Council Opposes Transpower Plan

Manukau City Council opposes Transpower's plan to build an above-ground transmission line on a route which includes parts of Manukau City. The Council believes the power lines should be undergrounded from the Bombay Hills to Otahuhu and intends to lodge an appeal when Transpower seeks planning consents for the route next year.

Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says he is disappointed but not surprised by the planned route announced by Transpower yesterday. He says he will be writing to the Government to take action as he believes it has the capacity to change Transpower's decision.

"Transpower's approach is outdated and unacceptable.

"Unlike other state sector organisations such as Transit NZ, Transpower is currently not obligated to act in a holistic way which takes into account the wider social and environmental impacts of its decisions. Its legislative mandate is too narrow.

"There seems to be a misconception that the Resource Management Act will provide options for communities which the pylons will march through, but I don't think that is the case.

"The Clevedon area is densely settled and will be seriously affected if a string of 50 to 65 metre high pylons is constructed through it. Also, the pylons would pass close by the country's busiest aerodrome, Ardmore. Surely no one can consider that acceptable.

"It is not too late to stop Transpower's plan. I feel very strongly about this issue and the Council is committed to doing its best to stop the plan going ahead. We do not want to block planning for an essential upgrade of the power supply to the Auckland region, but the solution that has been presented is unacceptable.

"I believe it is up to the Government to step in to change Transpower's operational guidelines and I shall be making urgent submissions in that regard."

ENDS

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