Matahina Dam Decision

Monday 12 December 2011, 4:58PM
By Bay of Plenty Regional Council


Consent has been granted for a modified operating regime for the Matahina Hydro-electric Power Scheme (HEPS) under section 104A of the RMA.  The modified operating regime granted is different to that sought by TrustPower Limited (the Applicant or TPL), and is summarised below.

The Hearing Committee have granted a modified operating regime that gives effect to the Applicant's operational changes,except that they have required a 40 cumecs minimum flow downstream of the dam (other than when inflows to the storage reservoir are less than this).

The operational changes to the current HEPS, approved by the Committee to address what the Applicant described as the plant's limitations and to improve the ability of the HEPS to meet the demand for energy are as follows:

  1. To allow for 'peaks' in generation flows from the dam operation when inflows to Lake Matahina are equal to or greater than 40 cumecs;
  2. To allow for the ability to 'peak' as required in response to electricity market conditions;
  3. To allow the 'ramping down' rate to be at a constant 30 cumecs per hour;
  4. To allow the 'ramping up' rate to be at a maximum of 97 cumecs per hour.

As the Committee's decision is to grant consent, but not all aspects of the modified operating regime sought by TrustPower, the decision is interim in terms of the consent conditions. The Committee seeks written comments on the interim conditions from all parties to the application, including submitters. 

The Committee does not seek comments on the substantive matters of contention, the decisions on these have been made. The Committee requests that comments focus on whether or not the proposed conditions are practical and able to be implemented.

Any comments are to be provided to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council no later than Monday 23 January 2012 and should be addressed to:

Attn: Consents Manager

Bay of Plenty Regional Council

PO Box 364

Whakatane 3158

A final decision will be issued no later than 10 February 2012.

The Decision documents can be found at the following web links:

1. A copy of the Decision on the Applications which includes the Interim Conditions (419 KB);

2. The Appendices to the decision

3. A copy of a Timetabling Direction from the Committee to the parties (83 KB)

We appreciate that this decision and subsequent process may be difficult to interpret. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Luke Faithfull on 0800 884 880 or Helen Creagh on 0800 884 881 extension 9463. 

Trustpower 65750 Declaration Application Two - Interim Decision

 Matahina Hydro Electric Power Scheme - Declaration Application Two Interim Decision.

Matahina Dam Hearing

The Commissioners consider that they now have enough information to make a decision on the applications, the hearing officially closed Friday 28 October.

Due to the complexity of all of the information that needs to be considered in making a decision on the application the Commissioners have exercised their discretion to double the timeframe within which the decision will be issued (under s37 of the Resource Management Act, 1991). A decision on the applications is expected from the Commissioners no later than 9 December 2011.

Matahina Dam Reconsenting

Independent Hearing Commissioners are: Greg Hill (Chairperson), Alan Bickers and Robert van Voorthuysen.

A copy of the Consent Officer's s42A Recommending Report can be downloaded from here or you can obtain a hard copy by contacting a Water Administration Officer on 0800 884 880. 

For further information on the Hearing or questions related to this application please contact a Water Administration Officer in the first instance.

TrustPower Declaration hearing

A Declaration hearing was held 21-22 February 2011 and the interim decision was released on 28 March 2011 with the decision being finalised on 19 April 2011.  The Declaration decision can be viewed or downloaded from the links below. 

Trustpower Application 65750 and others Declaration Decision

Trustpower Application 65750 and others Appendix A

Trustpower Application 65750 and others Appendix B

Trustpower Application 65750 and others Appendix C