Statement from Otorohanga District Council and Waikato Regional Council
Consents to construct and operate a 360 megawatt gas-fired power station in Waikato’s Otorohanga district have been granted.
The results of the consent applications by Nova Energy Limited to Otorohanga District Council and Waikato Regional Council were released today after joint hearings involving independent commissioners.
It was also recommended that Transpower confirm arrangements to connect the new plant with its existing transmission system.
Nova intends building the plant at Kawhia Rd to supply power, particularly at peak demand times. It is expected to occupy around 5.6 hectares. Gas will be sourced from the Maui pipeline which runs near the site, while the plant will connect to the national electricity grid. The set-up will involve exhaust stacks up to 25 metres in height and three new power pylons.
A number of submitters raised concerns about the impacts of the plant on the environment, views and the quality of life of people in the area.
However, staff from the two councils felt concerns could be addressed through appropriate consent conditions, with the commissioners hearing regional council matters agreeing plant impacts – including on air quality, waterways and views - would not be significant.
Otorohanga District’s commissioner said that while the plant will “to some extent modify the character of the vicinity…the modifications will be acceptable and appropriate given the positive benefits the project will bring”.
Taking into account the views of all parties and the technical evidence, the commissioners for the two councils said they had determined that resource consents for the proposal should be granted.
A full copy of a report on their decisions is available at https://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/Community/Whats-happening/Council-meetings/Agendas-and-minutes-for-council-and-standing-committees-from-28-November-2013/Hearings/Resource-Consent-Hearings/