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Renewable energy needs RMA help now

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party Energy Spokesman

18 April 2007

Renewable energy needs RMA help now

Urgent action is required to ensure security of New Zealand's energy supply, says National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

"Project after project continues to be shelved because of the RMA. The decision to reject Unison's latest bid for wind turbines near the Napier-Taupo Road is the straw which breaks the camel's back.

"I'm not going to wade into the merits of this particular project, but we're seeing these sorts of results with monotonous regularity. This is no longer about Helen Clark's unattainable goal to become carbon neutral, this is now about security of energy supply."

Mr Brownlee notes that at its recent AGM the Wind Farm Association said Labour was dreaming with its renewable energy targets because of the resource consent process.

"At the time, Energy Minister David Parker listed a series of projects that are waiting in the wings, saying that was proof of the Government's commitment to renewable energy.

"But even since he made those comments some of those projects have been derailed by the RMA process, Unison's bid being the latest.

"With record output at Huntly last year, and the likelihood of even greater reliance on that generator in 2007, Labour can't continue to watch renewable projects trashed while claiming to be concerned about emissions and security of supply.

"Labour's had more than seven years to find a fix. Where is it?"

ENDS

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