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Conservation Act blocking hydro development

Media statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 26 July 2006

Conservation Act blocking hydro development

United Future energy spokesperson Gordon Copeland today called for changes in the Conservation Act to allow new hydro-electricity projects to proceed.

"The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has put before New Zealand a vision of renewable electricity generation to the exclusion of fossil fuel, to protect the environment," said Mr Copeland.

"However the government vetoed Trustpower's new hydro scheme at Dobson on the West Coast citing the Conservation Act. Likewise it is now dragging its feet on a similar new proposal by Bay of Plenty Electricity on the Upper Kaituna River.

"Both the Dobson and the Bay of Plenty schemes are exactly what New Zealand needs ? renewable electricity close to end consumers.

"All of this is contradictory and needs to be brought to an end. It's time for the government to get off the fence and show some leadership on the issue.

"Either they provide some flexibility around new hydro schemes within the conservation estate (30% of all land and virtually all rivers and lakes) or they change the Act," said Mr Copeland.


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