30 Nov 2009

Farmers want fee for power pylons

10:45 pm on 30 November 2009

New Zealand's farmers want to be paid an annual fee for any further power lines built across their land.

Federated Farmers has commissioned an economic study backing its call for annual payments from the national grid operator Transpower.

Farmers have battled for several years against a new Transpower line through the Waikato.

They initially opposed it, but more than half have now signed confidential agreements to allow it to be built on their properties.

In future, Federated Farmers wants agreement on a yearly fee for any new Transpower lines.

A report the organisation commissioned from economic researchers NZIER has backed the concept of payments based on the market value of farm land.

The report was presented to farmers meeting at Clevedon, south of Auckland, on Monday.

Federated Farmers' electricity spokesperson Philip York says it is not about re-litigating the past, but setting a positive course for the future.

The MP for Hunua, Dr Paul Hutchison, says the report is fair and it's time for more generous payments.

He says says it would be reasonable for the government to look at annual payments.

Mr Hutchison says he'll be talking to the ministers who are responsible, and says Federated Farmers will also present its views.