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Minister exercises call in powers

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Health

9 August 2007

Minister exercises call in powers for transmission line project

Minister Pete Hodgson today announced he would call in Transpower’s proposal to build an electricity transmission line that would run from Waikato to Auckland.

“Transpower’s proposal is of national significance due to the scale of the proposal that affects seven districts and both the Waikato and Auckland regions and due to the amount of public interest in the project,” Pete Hodgson says.

“It warrants a rare intervention under the Resource Management Act.”

The call-in process will involve the Minister publicly notifying resource management applications for the project, seeking submissions and appointing an independent Board of Inquiry chaired by a current or former Environment Court judge. The Board will hear all submissions and make a decision regarding the designations and consents for the transmission line.

“Anyone will be able to state their views to the Board, whether they are in favour or opposed to the proposal. The Board will make the final decision on Transpower’s proposal under the Resource Management Act,” Pete Hodgson says.

The proposal will be publicly notified in the next few weeks.

Transpower had lodged applications under the Resource Management Act to councils with jurisdiction over land where the line would be built.

“I have considered the views of the councils affected in making my decision about whether to intervene,” Pete Hodgson says.

The Minister noted the nine councils involved had established a sound collective approach to the processing of Transpower’s applications: “I wish to use this co-ordinated council approach to support the Board of Inquiry to the extent possible. And I will discuss this further with the councils.”

Mr Hodgson said he had every confidence the councils could have professionally handled the hearings if required. His decision was based on the project’s national significance.

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