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Transpower and farming leaders meeting positive

Positive meeting between Transpower and farming leaders - 10 Oct 2006

Useful progress was made at a meeting today between national grid owner Transpower and a delegation of farming leaders from Auckland and Waikato, with both sides committed to creating an effective relationship.

Senior Transpower management met representatives of Waikato and Auckland Federated Farmers, to discuss mutual concerns about the planned upgrade of the Whakamaru to Otahuhu A and B transmission lines.

Transpower is planning to thermally upgrade the two lines. The work is scheduled to begin in November.

At today’s meeting it was agreed that issues around this particular project needed to be clearly separated from ongoing operation of the national grid.

It was acknowledged that Transpower has a right to go onto properties to maintain, repair and operate its transmission assets, and that landowners should not unreasonably deny access for these purposes.

At two recent meetings, some Auckland and Waikato Federated Farmers’ members and other landowners resolved to refuse Transpower access for work on the Whakamaru to Otahuhu A and B lines thermal upgrade.

Federated Farmers will go back to the affected Auckland and Waikato members to let them decide whether to continue that stance.

Transpower and Federated Farmers agreed that there needs to be ongoing efforts to form more effective partnerships between landowners and the grid owner.

One example of this approach is a commitment to develop a detailed land access agreement. This agreement is currently in draft form and further meetings will be held to finalise the document.

ENDS


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