14 Apr 2010

Call for Kaipara tidal energy plan to be put on hold

10:33 pm on 14 April 2010

The Attorney-General is looking into a request for a moratorium on a tidal energy project proposed for Kaipara Harbour north-west of Auckland.

Crest Energy's application to put 200 turbines at the mouth of the harbour is before the Environment Court.

Maori are worried about damage to the snapper fishery and the harbour.

The Ngati Whatua hapu group, Te Uri o Hau, wants Crest Energy's plan to be put on hold until the Foreshore and Seabed ownership issues are resolved.

A spokesperson for Crest Energy says granting a moratorium would mean certain groups could bypass the Resource Management Act, effectively hijacking the process.

Anthony Hopkins says it is abhorrent that all the good points of the act could be put to the side for political goals.

A spokesperson for Attorney-General Chris Finlayson says he is looking into the request.

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira supports a moratorium and will seek help from his party's co-leaders to apply pressure on the Government when the caucus meets on Tuesday.

Mr Harawira says Maori want the mana of the foreshore and seabed back in their hands.