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Public Hearing on Matahina Hydro Electric Power Scheme

Thursday, 23 June 2011 9:15 a.m.

An independent panel of commissioners will hear submissions next week on TrustPower's resource consent applications to continue to operate the Matahina Hydro Electric Power Scheme.

TrustPower has proposed to alter the existing operating regime of the Hydro Electric Power Scheme as part of its application to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Consents Manager Helen Creagh said that a number of parties were potentially affected by the resource consent application, and the public hearing process would provide a forum where all parties could be heard by independent commissioners.

"This structure allows for consideration of all parties and their views, the environmental effects of the proposal and whether there are adequate measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate effects," Ms Creagh said.

The Commissioners are Greg Hill (Chairperson), Alan Bickers and Robert van Voorthuysen.

Ms Creagh said the application was for a controlled activity under the Regional Water and Land Plan, therefore the consent must be granted.

"However the way the power scheme operates and controls the flow in the river is a major concern for submitters, and conditions are a decision for the Commissioners," she said.  

A number of expert reviews of technical information have been undertaken by the Council, including Thornton Bar dynamics, aquatic ecology, terrestrial ecology, riverbank erosion, hydrology, water quality and legal aspects.

Submitters presenting at the hearing include Fonterra, Federated Farmers, local iwi groups, downstream water abstractors and the Council's Environmental Hazards Department.

The hearing begins at 10.30am on Tuesday 28 June in Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chambers, Whakatāne, and will run until Thursday 30 June, and from Monday 4 July to Friday 8 July.

The Commissioners have 15 working days following the conclusion of the hearing to release their decision.

For further information please refer to the webpage TrustPower - Matahina Dam Hearing


For further media information please contact Communications Advisor, Clare Dowthwaite on 0800 884 881 Ext 8148 or 021 989 666.

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