Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Bush ecosystems threatened by huge wind farm

21 February 2008

Unique Mount Cass limestone bush ecosystems threatened by huge wind farm


The Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board is deeply concerned about a huge wind electricity generation scheme being proposed by Mainpower for Mt Cass near Waipara in North Canterbury. The Board recently visited to inspect the site to assess any likely damage that would result if the proposal goes ahead.

“The Board is not against wind farms. But the serious problem with the Mt Cass is it’s situation along a site which is very unusual and rare not only in Canterbury but also New Zealand,” says Board Chairman Dr Murray Parsons. “We’re stunned that Mainpower is even considering this site as they claim to be environmentally responsible and there are alternatives nearby.”

The Mt Cass ridge where Mainpower wants to build up to 83 wind generators over six kilometres, is covered in dense bush extending down gullies on either side, and is a unique limestone landscape with its own special ecosystem.

Mainpower is proposing to bulldoze a 10 metre wide access road, up to and along this ridge and construct massive concrete footprints of up to 240 square metres to support the construction of wind generators up to 80 metres in height.

“This will devastate ecosystems, plants, birdlife and insects, right along this ridge, removing huge areas of bush. Because of the relatively rare limestone landscape this bush provides refuge for many indigenous plant species which have been lost from most other limestone landscapes in Canterbury because of clearance and burning. At Mt Cass the dramatic bluffs and cliffs are inaccessible to stock and therefore relatively intact,” says Dr Parsons.

The Board says this kind of limestone landscape with outcrops and karst topography provides the habitat for 20% of nationally threatened plants, and Mt Cass supports plants that are not found anywhere else. It says these forests are the last remaining ecosystems of their type in Canterbury and are nationally worthy of preservation.

“Do we want to wreck this type of rare limestone landscape with its unique biodiversity just to generate more power and profits for Mainpower? This is galling for anyone concerned about conservation, particularly when there are alternative wind generation sites nearby which don’t have the same high conservation and recreation values.”

The Canterbury-Aoraki Board believes the area would make a superb regional park or reserve. There is already an easy walkway to the top of Mt Cass, which is readily accessible from Christchurch, and this could be extended along the Mt Cass ridge with extensive views over Pegasus Bay to Banks Peninsula and inland to the Southern Alps and the Kaikoura mountains.

It calls on Mainpower to reconsider its proposal, and consider nearby alternatives. This scheme will destroy one of the last remaining bush covered limestone landscapes in Canterbury and a nationally unique ecosystem.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year...

Auckland Action Against Poverty is calling on the Government to increase baseline benefits to stop record numbers of people requiring hardship assistance to meet the basic costs of living. More>>

 

DHBs "Prepared": Junior Doctors Strike Tuesday, Wednesday

The needs of acute patients will be met during tomorrow's junior doctor strike, a DHB spokesperson says... Almost 3000 junior doctors are expected to walk off the job, which will affect all DHBs apart from West Coast District Health Board. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>

ALSO:

JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>

Earlier:

Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

Trainers: Taratahi Institute of Agriculture In Interim Liquidation

Taratahi employ 250 staff and this year has provided education to over 2500 students. Taratahi owns and manages 8 farms throughout the country. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Report: Complaints About Deputy Commissioner Wallace Haumaha

The Authority has found that DC Haumaha acted improperly by approaching staff and others to provide information to support him to refute the allegations about his 2016 conduct, or solicited other staff to do so on his behalf... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels