Reconsideration of concession

Friday, September 2, 2022

Reconsideration of application for concessions for the Waitaha Hydro Scheme:

In August 2019 Minister for the Environment, David Parker, declined Westpower’s application for concessions from the Department of Conservation to construct and operate a run-of-river hydro scheme on the Waitaha River, about 36 kilometres south of Hokitika on the South Island’s  West Coast.

For further information about the Waitaha Hydro Scheme, please visit this page of the website.

In May 2022 Westpower wrote to the Minister of Conservation, Kiritapu Allan, asking for a formal reconsideration of the application for the hydro scheme, on the following grounds:

  1. Section 4 of the Conservation Act, the Treaty principles, and the views and aspirations of Poutini Ngāi Tahu (a partner in the project).

  2. The climate change emergency and the need for these types of renewable energy generation projects to be authorised including on public conservation land (noting the significant impacts of climate change on biodiversity and conservation land and resources).

  3. The need for a real-world and contextual assessment of the effects of the project on values such as natural character and tramping, including an assessment of recent refinements that significantly reduce the visibility of the project structures.

  4. The assessment of legal and planning matters.

Westpower has yet to receive any response from the Minister of Conservation as to whether the application will be reconsidered or not since the request was made on the 31st of May 2022, and since the request was lodged there have been two different conservation ministers – Poto Williams and now Willow Jean-Prime.

A reconsideration of the proposal is crucial if the scheme is to become a reality so that it can make a vital addition to New Zealand’s renewable electricity supply necessary to achieve targets of 100% renewable electricity and net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Read more.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Waitaha Hydro Submission for reconsideration

We have partnered with Poutini Ngāi Tahu to prepare a submission for reconsideration of concession to build Waitaha Hydro Scheme in South Westland. We provided our submission to the Department of Conservation on 31 May 2022.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Waitaha Hydro application for concessions submitted

In July 2014, Westpower submitted an application for concessions from the Minister of Conservation to enable the proposed scheme to progress.

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Stay informed

We will be providing more information in the weeks and months ahead.

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We’d love to hear your feedback on this proposal. Share your ideas with us by emailing us down below. For media enquires, contact Peter Armstrong at media@electronet.co.nz

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