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Environment Minister Nick Smith will tomorrow publicly notify Mighty River Power's proposal for a 122-turbine wind farm at Turitea, near Palmerston North.
"There is widespread interest in this and I encourage anyone with views about the proposal to make a submission. An independent Board of Inquiry will consider all the submissions, hold public hearings, and make a final decision," Dr Smith says.
"The Board will be chaired by Judge Craig Thompson and I have consulted with the local councils to ensure there is local knowledge on the board."
Dr Smith says the proposed wind farm was of national significance traversing public land within the Manawatu-Wanganui region, Palmerston North City and Tararua District.
"That is why on 19 December last year I announced that due to the size and scale of the wind farm proposal a Board on Inquiry chaired by an Environment Court Judge was the most transparent and fair way to decide the outcome.
"I chose this option rather than direct referral to the Environment Court because the process is more informal and better for submitters who may not have legal representation.
"I delayed public notification until 24 January 2009 so people were not disadvantaged by the holiday period in making submissions."
All submissions must be received by 5pm Monday 23 February 2009.
Submission forms can be obtained from Horizons Regional Council, Palmerston North City Council, Tararua District Council and from the Ministry for the Environment website (www.mfe.govt.nz/rma/call-in-turitea), or by phoning 0800 836 444.
Copies of Mighty River Power's application can be viewed at Horizons Regional Council, Palmerston North City Council, Tararua District Council, at Ministry for the Environment Offices in Auckland and Wellington, on Mighty River Power's website (www.mightyriver.co.nz) or information can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 0800 836 444.