Submissions are now closed on Kaimai Windfarm Ltd’s proposed wind farm project.
Overall number of submissions
Overall Hauraki District Council received 220 submissions on the proposal, of which 57 were in support and 157 were opposed to the idea. Waikato Regional Council submissions totalled 143, with 96 against and 42 in support of the proposal. Around 11 submissions were sitting on the fence without leaning one way or the other.
Next steps being finalised
The next steps in the process are now being finalised but will likely include some pre-hearing meetings to try to reach some agreement and narrow down the issues to be heard at a later hearing. The hearing itself is expected to take place before the middle of the year and will give submitters the opportunity to present their views verbally to independent commissioners who will be appointed by both councils to make a decision on the proposal.
There is also a possibility the applicant may apply for direct referral to the Environment Court. In this case the hearing would be held there and the decision would be made by the Environment Court without the involvement of Council appointed commissioners.
Resource consent applications lodged last year
Kaimai Windfarm Ltd lodged resource consent applications with Hauraki District Council and Waikato Regional Council in July last year to establish and operate a wind farm. The proposed farm would have the capacity to provide an estimated 400GWH of power per annum to the national grid.
The applications, which are being processed jointly by the two councils, cover the proposed construction of 24 large scale wind turbines over 1304 hectares near Rotokohu Road on the northwestern area of the Kaimai Ranges, south of Paeroa. Seven of the proposed turbines would be 180 metres high (to blade tip standing upright) and 17 of them would be 207 metres high. Other proposed structures include a substation, two lattice transmission towers, two overhead power lines, and 18km of on-site roading. An on-site quarry to supply material for the roads is also proposed. The applications also cover the removal of vegetation and earthworks associated with the construction phase of the project.