The "hype" pushed by the New Zealand Wind Energy Association (NZWEA) suggests that wind power is the panacea for all CO2 ills in New Zealand. This is misleading. There is absolutely no urgency or necessity to build wind power stations near people or important landscapes in New Zealand, which has plenty of unpopulated space. Two wind power stations have been approved and one built. There was no opposition to either of these. The latest one, in the Manawatu area, will be the biggest wind power station in the southern hemisphere. No residences are within two kilometres of either of these two sites. The Resource Management Act in New Zealand has not prevented either of these developments.
But at present there is a power surplus, and 1400 MW of new power output is being -- or has consent to be -- built. We are, as a nation, encouraged to consume power, not to save it. For NZWEA to persistently claim that it is working to protect the environment in New Zealand by encouraging the building of yet more power stations, and worse, to indicate the public is "uneducated" because it does not want these to be sited near homes and recreational areas, is not hard to understand. There is no profit in conserving power.
We are not a bunch of extremists. We, as a community, feel very strongly about the proposed development at Makara. New Zealand has a good wind resource and wind power can do well. Equally, New Zealand can well do without it.