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Ministerial direction for call in

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Having had regard to all the relevant factors, pursuant to section 141B(1) of the Resource Management Act 1991, I consider that the matters (listed in Appendix A) involved in Mighty River Power Limited’s proposed Turitea wind farm near Palmerston North, are of national significance and therefore direct those matters to be called in and referred to a board of inquiry for determination.

My reasons for calling in the matters involved in the proposal are as follows:

  1. The proposal affects or is likely to affect or is relevant to New Zealand’s international obligations to the global environment;
  2. The proposal affects or is likely to affect more than one region or district;
  3. The proposal will contribute to the achievement of the national target of 90% of electricity generation from renewable energy sources by 2025;
  4. The proposal will have national benefits deriving from the use and development of renewable energy in accordance with section 7(j) of the RMA. 

Before reaching my decision to direct call in of the proposal, I sought the views of the local authorities that would have processed and decided the matters if I had not called them in.

Signed by: Hon Dr Nick Smith  - dated 18/12/2008

Appendix A: Matters involved in the Turitea wind farm proposal:

Manawatu- Wanganui (Horizons) Regional Council

Mighty River Power applied for the following resource consents from the Manawatu- Wanganui (Horizons) Regional Council:

Land Use Consents:

  • 104553: for vegetation clearance and land disturbance in rare or threatened habitats, near streams and on hill country highly erodible land in the areas generally shown on the attached map; and
  • 104554: for the construction of a double culvert on an un-named tributary of the Kahuterawa Stream as shown on the attached map.

Discharge Permits

  • 104555: for the discharge of dust to air from the concrete batching plants to be located as generally shown on the attached map;
  • 104556: for the discharge of dust to air from the mobile crushing plants to be located as generally shown on the attached map;
  • 104557: for the discharge of wastewater from two operations and maintenance facilities to land to be located as generally shown on the attached map;
  • 104558: for the discharge of stormwater from substations to land to be located as generally shown on the attached map;
  • 104559: for the discharge of cleanfill to land within the road and turbine platform areas, and the spoil disposal sites as generally shown on the attached map; and
  • 104560: for the discharge of stormwater from roads, turbine platforms, spoil disposal sites and other areas to land.

The consent applications, the Assessment of Environmental Effects, and associated plans are specified in a document entitled Turitea Wind Farm, Resource Consent Applications and Assessment of Environmental Effects, August 2008 prepared and lodged by Mighty River Power with the Manawatu-Wanganui (Horizons) Regional Council in August 2008. The consent documents have subsequently been further refined and amended by:

  • Mighty River Power’s responses to requests for further information under section 92 of the RMA;
  • a letter dated 14 October 2008, following Mighty River Power’s responses to requests for further information under section 92 of the RMA (with respect to the consents required for the project from Horizons); and
  • the plan attached to this notice, together with an explanation of associated amendments to the AEE, revised photomontages and an updated noise report (with respect to the deletion of 9 of the turbine zones originally applied for).

Palmerston North City Council

Mighty River Power applied for the following resource consents from the Palmerston North City Council:

Land Use Consents (reference RC0068):

  • to establish and operate a wind farm in the areas within the Palmerston North City jurisdiction as generally shown on the attached map;
  • to undertake earthworks associated with tracking and roading, turbine construction and associated buildings in the areas within the Palmerston North city jurisdiction as generally shown on the attached map;
  • for the western side of Pahiatua Aokautere Road not meeting access requirements at the location shown on the attached map;
  • for the storage of diesel (10,000 L) in bunded areas outside the Turitea water supply catchment, generally located at the two substation laydown areas shown on the attached map, that exceeds the 0.2 effects ratio maximum in the rural zone; and
  • for the construction of a 220 kV electricity transmission line and substations as shown on the attached map.

The consent applications, the Assessment of Environmental Effects, and associated plans are specified in a document entitled Turitea Wind Farm, Resource Consent Applications and Assessment of Environmental Effects, August 2008 prepared and lodged by Mighty River Power with the Palmerston North City Council in August 2008. The consent documents have subsequently been further refined and amended by:

  • Mighty River Power’s responses to requests for further information under section 92 of the RMA; and
  • the plan attached to this notice, together with an explanation of associated amendments to the AEE, revised photomontages and an updated noise report (with respect to the deletion of 9 of the turbine zones originally applied for).

Tararua District Council

Mighty River Power has applied for the following resource consents from the Tararua District Council:

Land Use Consents (reference 1448):

  • for a wind farm (which is not listed as a permitted or controlled activity) in the areas within the Tararua District as generally shown on the attached map;
  • for land disturbance of more than 200m3 of soil and cleanfill material associated with tracking and roading, turbine construction, spoil disposal and other associated works in the areas within the Tararua District as generally shown on the attached map;
  • for upgrades to South Range Road and the construction of new site access at the location shown on the attached map;
  • for turbine and wind monitoring mast structures not meeting height requirements within the Tararua District;
  • for the modification of a Significant Natural Feature in Schedule 3.3 (i.e. Tararua Ranges Ridgeline);
  • for not meeting noise requirements; and
  • for clearance of indigenous vegetation in the areas within the Tararua District as generally shown on the attached map.

The consent applications, the Assessment of Environmental Effects, and associated plans are specified in a document entitled Turitea Wind Farm, Resource Consent Applications and Assessment of Environmental Effects, August 2008 prepared and lodged by Mighty River Power with the Tararua District Council in August 2008. The consent documents have subsequently been further refined and amended by:

  • Mighty River Power’s responses to requests for further information under section 92 of the RMA; and
  • the plan attached to this notice, together with an explanation of associated amendments to the AEE, revised photomontages and an updated noise report (with respect to the deletion of 9 of the turbine zones originally applied for).  It is noted that for the Tararua District, there have been no modifications to the proposal since lodgement on 8 August 2008.

Last updated: 20 January 2009