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Meridian, DOC set out relationship agreement

Monday, 12 December 2005

Meridian, DOC set out relationship agreement

State-owned power company Meridian Energy and the Department of Conservation have signed a memorandum of understanding to improve the way the two organisations work together.

Meridian Chief Executive Keith Turner and DOC director-general Hugh Logan signed the agreement today, which they say will provide foundations for more open and consistent communication between Meridian and DOC, and ensure that each work together as smoothly as possible.

Dr Turner said that Meridian recognised that the department is a key stakeholder in its existing assets and also its development options.

"The idea of an MoU arose because Meridian interacts with the Department of Conservation in a variety of different ways and places throughout the country. The level of interaction between the organisations is likely to increase in the future with the electricity supply and demand issues facing the country. "Given this trend both organisations felt that it would be mutually beneficial to co-ordinate this relationship more effectively through an MoU."

Dr Turner says the MoU is a testament to the strength of the existing relationships between the two organisations from a long involvement together in Manapouri and in the Waitaki.

The Department of Conservation is pleased to be associated with Meridian Energy through the positive process of an MoU.

"Having a formal basis for a relationship sets out the interests and obligations of both parties, with an understanding to try to work together wherever possible," said Mr Logan.

The focus on cooperation and communication means that DOC can concentrate on ensuring the protection of values on public conservation land, while Meridian can continue to investigate and develop renewable energy sources.

"The idea is that we can work together toward outcomes that are good for conservation of our natural resources, as well as being beneficial for the economy."

The MoU contains protocols for operation of existing energy generation assets, as well as for the investigation of new wind and hydro power projects. It also sets out procedures for information sharing on DOC's planning and policy development and procedures for sponsorships.

ENDS

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