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Meridian Energy Releases More Aqua Information

Meridian Energy Releases More Aqua Information

Today Meridian Energy released new information about the potential social effects of its proposed Project Aqua hydro-electric scheme, and how such effects might be mitigated.

The information includes the follow draft documents: Community and Social Effects report. This profiles the communities of the Waitaki Valley and nearby and assesses the potential effects the proposed project could have on these communities and the social services which support them. The report also contains recommendations on how Meridian Energy could minimise these effects. A supporting Preliminary Relocation Action Plan for residents or businesses who may have to relocate temporarily or permanently as a consequence of the construction of Project Aqua. A Position Paper from Meridian Energy responding to the Community and Social Effect report’s recommendations.

The key communities in the lower Waitaki Valley include Duntroon and Kurow. Inland settlements include Otematata, Omarama and Twizel. Key urban areas close to the Valley and nearer the mouth of the Waitaki River include Waimate and Oamaru.

“Even though it is only a draft, the Community and Social Effects report has been released so people have the information available to them before submissions on Project Aqua close on 12 March,” says Meridian Energy spokesperson Alan Seay.

“The report addresses a large number of issues that people have raised and is based on extensive consultation with the community.”

The Community and Social Effects report was written by independent experts who studied statistical information, reviewed social research from some of New Zealand’s historic hydrogeneration projects, and interviewed a large number of social service groups and individuals.

All the information can be downloaded from www.meridianenergy.co.nz/projectaqua. Hard copies can be requested from free phone 0800 278 246, aqua@meridianenergy.co.nz or collected from the Project Aqua information centre in Kurow.

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