3 Sep 2010

Landowners reach compensation deal with Transpower

1:14 pm on 3 September 2010

An agreement to pay standardised compensation for disruption during a lines upgrade project in the lower South Island has been hailed as a major step forward by a landowners group.

The $170 million project to add more lines on existing towers and replace and strengthen some towers between the Clutha and Waitaki rivers is expected to be completed by 2016.

Transpower chief executive Patrick Strange says compensation will be based on the number of towers on each property, and about $2 million will be paid out.

The Roxburgh to Duntroon landowners group says the agreement is a breakthrough after recent deadlock between Transpower and landowners in Auckland and South Canterbury.

However South Canterbury farmer Jeremy Talbot, who has been battling Transpower for annual pylon payments for years, says the deal is just a goodwill gesture, as under the Public Works Act the company is required to pay for any damage .

Mr Talbot says landowners want Transpower to treat them the same as new line hosts.