Auckland: Greenpeace applauds the Environment Court’s decision to allow the Awhitu wind farm, at Waiuku near Auckland to go ahead.
“This decision is a fantastic signal for wind energy development in New Zealand and is a great step towards reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and tackling the world’s biggest threat – climate change,” said Greenpeace climate campaigner Vanessa Atkinson.
This is a precedent setting case for wind energy in New Zealand. It is the first time that a decision on a wind farm has been taken to the Environment Court and it sets a positive precedent for balancing sustainable development and the need to tackle climate change with mitigating local impacts and for allowing appropriate siting of wind farms in coastal areas.
Greenpeace joined the appeal in support of the wind farm as we were very concerned about climate change. Greenpeace believes that wind and other forms of renewable energy are very important components to address climate change.
“New Zealand is the Saudi Arabia of wind and a recent Government study showed that 35% of our installed electricity capacity could come from wind energy, and that is just within current technology limits.”
“The transition to renewable energy such as wind, is absolutely vital and Awhitu is an urgently needed step on that path. With scientists warning that we only have 10 years to tackle climate change to avoid wide-scale ecological, economic and social disaster, we can no longer afford to wait.
“New Zealand faces some tough energy choices in the coming years. We can move towards clean renewable energy sources such as wind or we are left with dirty climate-change causing options like Mighty River Power’s Marsden B coal-fired power station,” said Ms Atkinson.
“New Zealand should be developing more projects close to areas of high electricity demand like Auckland, to avoid the need for transmission line upgrades,” concluded Ms Atkinson.
The Greenpeace run website, https://www.Yes2Wind.co.nz supports and promotes the use of wind power in New Zealand and provides information on wind energy including debunking some common myths.
Franklin District Council rejected Genesis’ application for resource consents for the windfarm on 9 September 2004.
Genesis appealed the decision on 27 September and then EECA appealed on 7 October.
Subsequently many others have joined either or both of these appeals including Greenpeace, Auckland Regional Council, Mighty River Power, The New Zealand Wind Energy Association, the Environmental Defence Society and local resident Charmaine Watts (head of Waiuku in Support of Wind Energy).