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Greens Speak Sense On Power Lines

21 January 2005

Greens Speak Sense On Power Lines

The Green Party is putting forward some sensible views on Transpower's plans to erect large pylons on and over private land between south Auckland and Taupo, said John Fisher, President of Waikato Federated Farmers.

"Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says* that we owe it to people in the lines' path to look at alternatives that are properly evaluated. I couldn't agree more," Mr Fisher said.

"The Greens are suggesting that a number of good wind power sites exist north of Auckland, and that Northland has a large amount of waste wood which can generate power and heat for large-scale industrial projects. I would like these and other options to be fully explored before these new pylons start disfiguring the landscape," he said.

Federated Farmers' National Council passed a remit in November supporting the investigation of local power generation for Auckland.

"Federated Farmers policy on large infrastructure proposals is to oppose the plan until satisfied there is a proven case that it should go ahead, and that the impact on those affected is minimised.

"If the proposal goes ahead, the most cost-effective option must be chosen and this must include the true cost of transmission. Up to now landowners have been subsidising the cost of transmission and distribution of electricity."

Transpower intends to build a 400,000 volt transmission line connecting substations at Otahuhu and Whakamaru, a distance of around 200 km.

"Members of Federated Farmers would prefer to see power generators examine an option which did not require Transpower to build more power lines across farm land. The lines are undesirable because they impact on farming operations, damage the environment, and lower property values," Mr Fisher said.

"Farmers will be pleased that the Greens are acknowledging the rights of landowners and look forward to them applying the same logic to another import issue for farmers -- the government's proposal to allow the public free access over private land," Mr Fisher said.

*NZ Herald, January 21, Perspectives, Page A13

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