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Federated Farmers is disappointed with the decision today that the Board of Inquiry into Transpower’s Whakamaru to Auckland transmission line has approved the project.
“Federated Farmers put in a ton of effort on submissions against Transpower’s proposal, so we are naturally disappointed at the decision,” says Stew Wadey, Federated Farmers Waikato provincial president.
“We really feel for our members who are being directly impacted by Transpower’s proposal.
“It seems a travesty that one of New Zealand’s largest infrastructure projects in recent times has got this far without any judicial scrutiny. It must be of concern that no Court has had the opportunity to review this project.
“That said, Transpower’s Chief Executive, Dr Patrick Strange, has committed Transpower to work with landowners and community organisations to provide solutions to meet their concerns.
“This is a very welcome change in Transpower’s outlook because back in May, the Public Works Act was being waved at farmers as if it was some panacea.
“Transpower has to realise that it has damaged its relationships with land owners along the transmission line route. Memories are pretty raw from the early stages of the project especially.
“If Transpower really wants to solve landowner concerns, then Dr Strange should direct Transpower to engage meaningfully with Federated Farmers.
“The Federation is the only body left standing, which is sticking up for the rights of affected landowners. We have compensation matters outstanding that need urgent resolution.
“Other matters include the liabilities landowners face if their actions on their own property cause Transpower any loss. Landowners rightfully want indemnities from Transpower for any losses the SOE may cause farmers on the farmers own property.
“There’s a lot of water yet to go over the Benmore dam before this transmission line will be carrying any electricity towards Auckland. Farmers can rest easy that Federated Farmers will be unstinting in its efforts to keep Transpower to account on all outstanding issues,” Mr Wadey concluded.