13 Sep 2008

Taupo power station gets green light

5:59 pm on 13 September 2008

A new geothermal power station near Taupo has been given the go-ahead by an independent board called in by the Government.

The Contact Energy project in the Wairakei-Tauhara geothermal field was handed over to the board in February to consider submissions and make a final decision.

The call-in procedures under the resource management act were invoked because the Government deemed it a project of national significance.

It's the first time a final decision has been made under the call-in process, which was became law in 2005.

The decision can only be appealled to the High Court on points of law.

The environment minister, Trevor Mallard, says the decision shows the RMA does not mean projects will be delayed for years.

Three other projects are currently subject to call-ins - including Transpower's North Island grid upgrade.