2 Nov 2008

Hearing into electricity transmission upgrade ends

3:00 pm on 2 November 2008

A marathon resource consent hearing into a large-scale electricity transmission upgrade for the upper North Island wrapped up in Hamilton on Friday.

The hearing has sat since March and heard more than 1,200 submissions.

It was conducted by a Board of Inquiry using special call-in powers under the Resource Management Act, aimed at speeding up the consent procedure for large-scale projects.

At issue is Transpower's proposal to build a new overhead electricity transmission line, between Whakamaru and South Auckland, with underground cabling and new substations within Auckland.

This new line is 200 kilometres and costs almost $700 million.

The electricity industry says this is essential, but objectors say it will blight the countryside.

A separate challenge to the scheme is being considered by the High Court.