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High Court decision supports grid upgrade process

4 May 2009
Media release
High Court decision supports Electricity Commission grid upgrade review process

The High Court has turned down a request for judicial review of the Electricity Commission’s approval of a major transmission project from Whakamaru to Pakuranga, Auckland.

In its decision issued today (Monday) the court rejected the claim on all grounds and contemplated costs against New Era Energy.

In July 2007 the Commission approved Transpower’s proposal for the North Island Grid Upgrade project (NIGU). In August 2008 a group called New Era Energy, representing affected land owners along the route, asked the court to quash the decision, claiming it and the deliberations that led to it were predetermined and bias, illegal, irrational and suffered from a mistake of fact.

Electricity Commission Chair David Caygill welcomed the decision. “The Court’s judgment confirms that the Commission’s decision making process was correct and gives us confidence in its robustness and integrity. The court said the Commission had reached reasonable decisions, there was no predetermination or bias, and rejected all of New Era’s arguments,” he said.

“This is the second time in just over a year that the courts have confirmed the Commission's approach to reviewing transmission investments. In March 2008 the Court of Appeal upheld the Commission's Otahuhu substation diversity decision,” Mr Caygill said.


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