2 Feb 2009

Call to halt wind farms until national guidelines set

8:33 pm on 2 February 2009

A Palmerston North woman is calling for national guidelines to be set to protect land owners from the noise, vibrations and view distruptions caused by wind farms.

Landscape gardener and campaigner Jan Dixon hopes to gather 1000 signatures for a petition which asks the Government to consider halting all building of wind farms until national rules can be set.

Mrs Dixon says though the Resource Management Act gives some protections, it only takes into account individual projects and not the effects that multiple developments will have on an area over time.

She says at present, councils are having to come up with individual rules and while some guidelines do exist, they are outdated and do not allow for the development of new technology.

Mrs Dixon says a detailed set of national rules would reduced the legal costs land for both land owners and wind farm developers.

However, the Wind Energy Association says a call to postpone the building of all wind farms is unwise.

The association, which represents members of the energy industry, says national noise limits already exist and landscape issues are best decided on a case-by-case basis.

Chief executive Fraser Clark says halting construction would remove one of New Zealand's most climate friendly ways of securing energy supply.

Mr Clark says it already provides for a significant portion of the country's power.