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Electricity market reforms not RMA to blame

Electricity market reforms not RMA to blame

The attack on the RMA for supposedly holding up large scale electricity projects was misdirected nonsense the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society said today. A number of large-scale energy projects had got resource consent under the RMA.

Society Spokesperson, Barry Weeber, said the decision by Meridian to can Project Aqua was made on economic grounds and the RMA was only one of nine reasons used by Meridian.

"The RMA has not stopped the development of a range of electricity developments over the last 13 years."

Mr Weeber said three major gas fired power stations at Stratford, at Huntly and at Otahuhu have been developed.

"Manapouri station has had a new tunnel developed in Fiordland National Park, three wind farm developments have been approved in the Wairarapa and around the Manawatu Gorge, and four geothermal power stations have proceeded."

Mr Weeber said that in addition all the Waikato Power stations, the Upper Tongariro Power Scheme, Clutha stations and Manapouri have been consented under the Resource Management Act.

"In addition a number of small hydro stations have gone ahead or have been refurbished and been redeveloped."

Mr Weeber said the major problem was reliance on the free market the absence of energy planning over the last 15 years. It was time for the Government to get serious about energy conservation and major players in the electricity sector to stop blaming the RMA for the failure to plan.

"Big business wanted a free market, not sensible planning and now everyone is paying the price," he said.

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