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High Court Awards Costs Against Wind Farm Opponent

Media Statement by TrustPower

19 December 2008

High Court Awards Costs Against Wind Farm Opponent

The TrustPower and four other defendants have been awarded costs totalling $49,788.21 related to the Uplands Protection Society’s unsuccessful High Court bid to overturn wind farm resource consents issued to TrustPower and Meridian Energy.

The costs were awarded in the High Court by Justice Fogarty following a hearing on 16 September, when the proceedings were struck out on the basis that the Society’s action to had no hope of succeeding.

The costs awarded were:

Central Otago District Council - $14,473.08
Otago Regional council - $10,160
Clutha District Council - $7,954.58
Meridian Energy Limited - $5,859.82
TrustPower Limited - $11,340.73

TrustPower, the Clutha District Council and the Otago Regional council have also filed applications for costs totalling more than $30,000 against the Uplands Protection Society, relating to its unsuccessful Environment Court appeal of TrustPower’s Mahinerangi Windfarm resource consents, with decisions expected in early 2009.

TrustPower also anticipates that it will file applications for costs against the Upland’s Protection Society once its appeal of TrustPower Kaiwera Downs Windfarm resource consents is resolved.

Upland’s was one of only two appeals against the Mahinerangi Windfarm, the other by Contact Energy also being dismissed, and Upland’s is the only appeal against the Kairwera Downs Windfarm.

TrustPower Community Relations Manager, Graeme Purches, says the decision is a welcome Christmas present, for not only TrustPower and Meridian, but for ratepayers.

“Because the costs are awarded according to the Court’s 2B scale, they only represent a fraction of the actual costs incurred by the various parties. However, something is better than nothing. I am sure that the ratepayers of the three councils involved will be as happy as we are about this decision, although time alone will tell whether in fact the monies now owed by the Society can actually be collected.”


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