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Federated Farmers is awaiting legal advice that may see it lodge an appeal to the Board of Inquiry’s approval of Transpower’s Whakamaru to Auckland transmission line.
“Federated Farmers may not have pockets as deep as Transpower but we will not be silent when monopolies use legislative privilege to run roughshod over property rights,” says Philip York, Federated Farmers electricity spokesperson.
“Our initial legal advice is that the Board of Inquiry’s interpretation of the Resource Management Act (RMA) could be questionable.
“We are now awaiting further legal advice and if that is favourable, it could well see Federated Farmers lodge an appeal in the High Court next Monday under Section 149A of the RMA.
“We feel, for example, the Board was in error when it dismissed compensation for affected land owners as being irrelevant to its overall consideration. There is also High Court precedent that says such matters are in fact relevant.
“The current Government when it was in Opposition, agreed that there was a problem with compensation under the RMA. If there is a problem then it needs to be addressed.
“Yet compensation is just one of a number of areas in which the Board has, in our opinion, erred in law.
“Talk maybe cheap but if Transpower had shown goodwill rather than hiding behind its massive legislative privilege, it could have avoided all this acrimony by renting at fair market value the land these pylons sit on.
“Ironically with Transpower choosing to fight rather than to talk, it’s now the owner of a number of farms, which doesn’t exactly strike me as a core operation.
“Federated Farmers is the only body willing to stand up for individual farmers when faced by seemingly bully-boy tactics. We eagerly look forward to seeing if our latest legal advice concurs with our initial legal advice.
“Irrespective of the outcome the whole matter of compensation needs to be fixed,” Mr York concluded.