14 Mar 2012

Company building Kaipara tidal turbines frustrated by disruption

7:48 am on 14 March 2012

A director of Crest Energy says its tidal turbine project in Kaipara Harbour is legitimate and should go ahead despite local Maori imposing a rahui (customary ban) over the harbour in protest against the company.

The Kaipara Harbour Rahui Action Committee and local residents want to stop Crest Energy installing 200 turbines, though it was granted consent by the Environment Court in March 2011.

Crest Energy director Anthony Hopkins says the company feels wedged between the Crown and Maori, with whom it has had numerous consultation about the benefits of the venture for Northland.

He says although there is a group of people against the turbines the company has a legal right to go about its business.

Mr Hopkins says local Maori and residents know about the plan and the legal process behind it.

He hopes some sort of mutual agreement can be reached as neither iwi nor the company are happy about the current situation.