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Govt briefed on Taupo geothermal area subsidence

Govt briefed on Taupo geothermal area subsidence

The Government is being kept informed about subsidence occurring in geothermal areas at Taupo, Energy Minister Pete Hodgson said today.

Mr Hodgson said he had been briefed by Taupo District Council about the subsidence affecting some Taupo properties, including newly detected subsidence in the Crown Road area.

"There are a number of possible causes for the subsidence but significant expert disagreement about the best explanation," Mr Hodgson said.

Expert advisers to the Taupo District Council link the subsidence to the extraction of geothermal fluids at the Wairakei field for Contact Energy's 165MW Wairakei geothermal electricity generation station.

"It is important for all concerned that greater certainty about the causes and possible extent of the subsidence is achieved. When the causes of the subsidence are clearly understood there will be a sound basis for decisions on the appropriate action to take in response."

Mr Hodgson said Taupo District Council had agreed to keep the Government informed of developments.

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