Research shows support for Te Uku Wind Farm Project
Issued by WEL Networks Limited
March 22, 2006.
RESEARCH SHOWS SUPPORT FOR TE UKU WIND FARM PROJECT
More than 80 percent of those living in the greater Raglan area support, or strongly support the proposed wind farm planned at Te Uku.
This is the finding of independent research commissioned by WEL Networks, the community owned electricity lines company behind the project.
The wind farm is conditional on a $2.5 million feasibility study, about to get underway, and resource consents.
If the project proceeds it will generate electricity for 30,000 homes.
One of the outcomes from the project will be significant improvements to the power supply into the greater Raglan area.
Hamilton-based Versus Research conducted its random telephone survey over three nights last week.
Its sample of 538 participants provides for a margin of error of plus or minus 3.74 percent.
Of those surveyed 9 percent neither supported nor opposed the project, with only 4 percent either opposed or strongly opposed.
Versus managing director Harriet Di Maio said that in Te Uku, where the wind farm was to be sited on the Wharauroa Plateau, 64 percent supported the wind farm, while only 17 percent were opposed to it.
Strongest support for the project was recorded in Raglan with 86 percent behind it and only 4 percent opposed.
Support in Te Mata was 77 percent, Te Akau 80 percent, Kawhia 65 percent and Aotea 72 percent.
Those who indicated their support cited a number of reasons, but most frequently mentioned were:
- Environmentally friendly option.
- The need for more power.
- Most cost effective option.
- Better than alternatives of nuclear and coal.
- Less visual impact than other options.
The few who opposed the wind farm indicated their main concerns were:
- Visual impact.
- Danger to birds.
Ms Di Maio said that the information mailed to residents by WEL had been well received, with 94 percent rating it as good or excellent.
In terms of being clear and easy to understand, 95 percent rated it as good or excellent.
Meanwhile, WEL Networks chief executive Mike Underhill has welcomed the research findings.
“To have such strong support from the greater Raglan area is very encouraging,” he said,
However, it was clear, he said, that a small number of people in Te Uku, in particular, had questions about the project.
“We are confident we will be able to satisfy their concerns over noise,” he said.
Mr Underhill said since announcing the project a week ago, more than 100 residents had made contact with the company, and almost all of the calls were positive.
“But I hope we can address any of the issues raised at the public meetings we are holding throughout the area,” he said.
The first meeting is to be held tonight at the Te Uku Hall (March 22),starting at 7pm.
Meetings are also scheduled at Te Mata Hall tomorrow night (Thursday, March 23) and at the Raglan Area School at 7pm on Friday night.
The following week, meetings will be held at the Kawhia Town Hall on Monday, March 27 and at the Te Akau Waingaro Community Complex on Tuesday, March 28, also at 7pm.
All of the public information meetings are to be chaired by an independent chairman, former Waikato District Mayor, Angus Macdonald.
Last updated: Thursday, 18 June 2009