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Animation Research to work on Waitaki River video

Media Release
Wednesday 25 February, 2004

Animation Research to work with Meridian Energy on Waitaki River video

One of the country’s best-known high-tech businesses, Dunedin-based Animation Research, has been contracted by Meridian Energy to help inform the public on the impact of Project Aqua.

Meridian spokesman Alan Seay says his company is delighted that Animation Research has agreed to become involved in Project Aqua.

“Animation Research needs no introduction. They have an international reputation in data visualisation and from the outset they have made it clear that they are not interested in just making ‘pretty pictures’. They deal in the accurate visualisation of data and that is what we have asked them to do.”

Animation Research founder Ian Taylor says his company is working on a presentation about the Waitaki River that will use the latest technology available to help bring some balance to the debate.

“Like many New Zealanders I am confused about what actually is going to happen to the river. If we can use our technology and combine it with the best scientific data available then we will at least be able to determine whether or not the Waitaki is going to become a “trickle of mud” as some are suggesting”.

“We are not aiming to tell people how they should feel about Project Aqua, but I do think it is crucial that people have accurate information on which to base their views about the project. This is an extremely important debate for the entire country and we should be able to have that debate armed with as much factual information as possible.”

Ian Taylor says his company’s whole reputation has been built on its ability to turn data into pictures that people can understand.

“We have made it clear from the outset that we are not making a simulation based on what Meridian might like the river to look like. The process we go through means we will be taking actual scientific data, both past and present, and putting it in the context of the river. Any simulation we create about the future of the river will be based on the best scientific data and predictions available from organisations such as NIWA.”

Ian Taylor says while he, like most other New Zealanders, cares passionately about the environment, electricity is also vital to a healthy, prosperous and innovative society.

The Waitaki River presentation is expected to be completed in April.

[ends]

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