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Project Aqua decision: RMA process fair

Project Aqua decision: RMA process fair and protects local interests

The Resource Management Act is fair and demonstrates that the concerns of local people are being listened to, Otago MP David Parker said today.

“Today’s decision demonstrates clearly that the Labour Government was at no time trying to ‘think big’ Project Aqua. At all times it was allowing fair principles to guide the process,” he said.

“Meridian Energy’s decision to scrap Project Aqua was driven by a combination of circumstances. There was no single reason driving their decision.

“Meridian acknowledges their decision has ultimately been driven by commercial considerations based on a wide range of factors. The decision was never one for the government to make and the government’s role was at all times about ensuring a fair process,” said Mr Parker.

“Planning for New Zealand’s future energy needs over the next 5-10 years is critical in the wake of Meridian’s decision.

“Attention can now be turned to more immediate sources of energy. Wind, geothermal and fossil fuel sources of electricity generation will be amongst the sources considered. These and other likely alternatives are considered in the Ministry of Economic Development study entitled “New Zealand Energy Outlook To 2025” a summary of which is found at New Zealand Energy Outlook to 2025: Executive Summary (www.med.govt.nz/ers/en_stats/outlook/2003/executive-summary/index.html)

“New power generation will always have some adverse environmental concerns. It is important to ensure that those concerns are taken into account alongside the national interest and the voices of local people most affected,” he said.

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