Working group formed over Transpower 'land grab'

BY ANDREA O'NEIL
Last updated 11:15 19/06/2012

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A working group of Pauatahanui residents, council officers and Transpower officials has been formed to consult on Transpower's proposed corridor management policy, which could restrict land use for 32 metres each side of power lines in the area.

Transpower is asking councils around the country to implement its plan, and has met strong opposition in places like the Bay of Plenty, where it is being accused of proposing a land grab.

A meeting between affected landowners, Porirua City Council and Transpower was held on June 7 and attracted about 60 residents. Transpower's plan affects properties in Pauatahanui, Whitby, Judgeford, Paekakariki Hill Road and Cannons Creek.

Landowners were not convinced by Transpower's reasoning behind the corridor plan, Pauatahanui Residents' Association secretary Alan Gray says.

"People were pretty disturbed by the whole thing. Transpower wasn't convincing," Mr Gray said.

Transpower showed slides of power poles close to roads and houses in South Auckland to argue for increasing its corridor from 24m to 64m. But Mr Gray says current council legislation is more than adequate to protect Transpower's assets.

"Our argument is there's already good regulations in force and they shouldn't be dumbing this down to council. We're not denying them a corridor, they obviously do need one, but we're just not convinced they need to have such a large one."

Mr Gray agreed with Bay of Plenty protesters that a land grab was threatened.

"It's not doing anything but reducing property values and people's land rights."

A working group was formed at the meeting to workshop the issue and shape public consultation on the matter, Mr Gray says. The group comprises two farm representatives, a lifestyle block representative, an urban representative, council staff and a Transpower representative.

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