Investigations into the suitability of the Tirohia site for the proposed Kaimai Wind Farm began in 2005 although CEO Glenn Starr admits research into the ideal site began many years earlier.
“The need to generate power from environmentally sustainable sources is a concept most Kiwis embrace but this is often accompanied by a desire for the sources of that generation to be out of sight.
“However, the reality is that while there are lots of remote locations in New Zealand, they are mostly constrained by their remoteness from the national grid and transport routes. To be viable, wind farms in New Zealand need to be of moderate scale (to fit into the demand gap in the market) and be close to roads and grid; they obviously also need to be sited where there is an excellent wind resource.”
Glenn Starr said the three privately owned properties which are the site of the proposed wind farm have the right topography, adjacency to the national grid and have the potential wind strength and consistency.
“In 2005 we erected a 20m tall monitoring mast on the site to measure wind strength. Initial results supported the erection of two further monitoring masts (50m and 60m tall). Data received over the intervening years has confirmed the site has the wind strength and consistency needed for a viable wind farm.
“The site of the proposed farm adjoins DOC forest park land which has significant bush cover that provides habitat to indigenous bats and birds. There are also scattered bush remnants on the site property which have the potential to provide some habitat. To gain an informed understanding of the ecology, acoustic receivers were installed in several locations in 2007 to measure resident populations and movement. More than a decade on we have a pretty comprehensive set of information on bird and bat numbers and movement – data which has helped us in the placement of the proposed turbines and in developing mitigations to minimize impact.”
Glenn Starr said a range of investigations have taken place over the last decade to test the suitability of the site, including slope stability, landscape and wind.
“All of these insights have enabled us to tailor the proposal to the environment. For example, the original proposal was for around 60 small turbines but technological advances in turbine design, combined with indepth knowledge of the site, has enabled us to come up with a design concept which will, hopefully, see 24 turbines generate power – enough for around 50,000 homes.”
Glenn Starr said all of the research conducted to test the suitability of the site is now public and can be accessed on the Hauraki District Council website.
“Our application for consent to construct and operate the wind farm has been lodged with the Hauraki District and Waikato Regional Councils with a Hearing, hopefully, later this year.
“In the meantime, we will continue to work with the wider Paeroa community to understand and, hopefully, alleviate any concerns.
“The proposed Kaimai Wind Farm aligns with the Government’s plan for a renewable, sustainable energy for all New Zealanders.”
Kaimai Wind Farm Ltd has lodged resource consent applications with Hauraki District Council and Waikato Regional Council for consent to establish and operate a 24 turbine wind farm on the northern reaches of the Kaimai Ranges at Tirohia (south of Paeroa).
The resource consent application to the Hauraki District Council seeks consent to all land-use activities associated with the construction and operation of the proposed wind farm.
The application site covers 771 and 604 Rotokohu Road and 6356 SH26 (1304 hectares).
The proposed turbines, which are of two different sizes, have a hub height of 110m and 130m. Each turbine has three rotors measuring 146m and 160m respectively. The total height of the turbines, when measured from the base to the tips, equates to 180m and 207m respectively.
Proposed associated structures include a substation, two lattice transmission towers, two overhead lines, and 18.9km of roading – all within the application site.
Earthworks will include 900,000m3 of cut material and 113,500m3 of engineered fill.
It is estimated that 53,000m3 of finishing aggregate will be needed for the on-site roads. This is proposed to be obtained from roading excavations and one on-site quarry.
The main site access is proposed to be from the south- from Wright Road, which comes off Rawhiti Road – the turbine parts are proposed to be transported from Tauranga, through Matamata-Piako District to the site. All other construction and materials transport traffic is also proposed to access the site from Wright Road.
The resource consent application to the Waikato Regional Council seeks consent to specific aspects of land use – removal of vegetation, earthworks, to permit the discharge of surplus soil and surface water associated with the construction phase of the project and culvert upgrades.
Hauraki District Council will take urgent action on climate change.
The Extinction Rebellion Waihi Group asked Council at a recent Community Services and Development Committee to declare a climate change emergency for the Hauraki District and establish a citizen’s assembly.
The committee requested staff report back to council so it could make a decision.
In the 31 July, 2019, meeting, Council resolved to recognise the urgency of addressing climate change to support a greater mobilisation of resources and accelerate the climate change programme that Council had already committed to through its 2018 Long Term Planning process.
Hauraki district Mayor John Tregidga said the word ‘urgency’ best described the approach council needed to take, rather than declaring an emergency.
Climate change challenge
“We agree climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the international community and New Zealand, but actions speak louder than words,” he said.
“We will work with the Extinction Rebellion Waihi Group and the community to identify some achievable goals and actions that will make a difference.
“We’re also looking at what we can do as a business to take the lead on climate change action.We’re planning an internal review of our operations in relation to emission reduction and sustainability and we’ll be identifying steps we can take to reduce emissions and likely costs.”
Community involvementDeclaring a climate change emergency was an issue that needed to be discussed in the next Long Term Plan in consultation with the community, he said.
“We have not got the mandate from the community to do this. I don’t think it would be fair to the community to go and declare a climate change emergency and not be able to do it.”
Climate change funding
Council’s ability to take action was also affected by available funding, Mayor Tregidga said.
“We have a small population. If Auckland Council asked for $1 from each ratepayer and resident to put towards climate change action, they would raise about $1.6 million. In the Hauraki District, we would raise about $20,000.”
Addressing climate changeThere were many things council was already doing to address the long term challenges of climate change, he said.
“Hauraki District Council is doing a lot now, particularly when you look at what we’re doing in Kaiaua,” he said.
“We’re working with Waikato regional and district councils, iwi, technical experts and affected Kaiaua Coast communities on a jointly developed and community-led strategy that will describe how we will respond to coastal hazard risks in the future.
“We’re doing stuff that no other council is doing in the Waikato, we’re taking the lead.”
Council initiativesCouncil also signed the Local Government Leaders’ Climate Change Declaration, had a plan in place to address climate change impacts and was involved in many local and national climate change initiatives including work with NIWA, GNS Science, multiple universities and the Future Living Skills initiative.
Council welcomes the introduction of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill as a necessary step towards meeting its international obligations to reduce greenhouse gases.
The Bill requires the Government to plan for how it will support Kiwi towns, cities, businesses, farmers and iwi to respond and adapt to the effects of climate change.
Media release from the Minister of Energy and Resources, Hon Dr Megan Woods
Hon Dr Megan Woods
Minister of Energy and Resources
16 July 2019
NZ embracing renewable electricity future
A future where New Zealand’s electricity generation is entirely renewable is within our reach, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods.
The Minister today welcomed the recommendations of the Interim Climate Change Committee’s (ICCC) report on Accelerated Electrification.
“New Zealanders are calling for a clean, green and carbon neutral economy. Increasing our renewable electricity will play a big part in helping us get there,” Minister Woods says.
Our government’s goal is to decarbonise our economy while keeping electricity costs low for consumers and creating new jobs in renewable energy.
The Minister says the challenge of reaching 100% renewable electricity by 2035 has been well signalled.
“We can have an ambitious goal while also being pragmatic. We will be conducting five-yearly assessments to ensure the energy trilemma of affordability, sustainability and security is well managed.
“A simplistic trade-off won’t be needed. We will move our country towards a zero-carbon future while keeping power prices in check for households.
“An investigation into customer electricity pricing is underway with decisions on that to be released imminently.
“We also know reaching our aspirational goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2035 will mean a sharper focus on lowering process heat and transport emissions. This work is already being prioritised.
“My renewable energy strategy work programme will also assist New Zealand’s transition to a low emissions economy.
“We are confident we can get to our 100% renewable ambition, and are confident new technologies will be developed to help us get there affordably, but we also want to signal we will be pragmatic about this goal and we won’t die in a ditch over the last couple of percent if it places unreasonable costs on households and puts security of supply at risk.
“That is why we are putting five year reviews in place and have given ourselves a 16 year lead in to achieve this ambition that is so important to achieving our emission reduction goals,” Megan Woods said.
Minister Woods accepted the recommendations, and stated that further work, such as further storage solutions, exploring a transport emissions reduction target and revising the National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation would also be investigated.
The ICCC report is available here: www.iccc.mfe.govt.nz/what-we-do/energy/electricity-inquiry-final-report
Media contact: Penny Arrowsmith 021 406 069
A lot has happened since I last wrote to you. As you know, the application to construct a wind farm on the northern reaches of the Kaimai Ranges at Tirohia was lodged with the Hauraki District and Waikato Regional Councils in June 2018. It was publicly announced in November and around 220 submissions were received from the public – 57 in support and 157 opposed.
Submissions in support talked about the benefits of sustainable renewable energy, positive impact on the environment and economic benefits to the region. Main areas of concern were potential advertise impacts on cultural values, the appearance of the turbines and their impact on the landscape, the sound of the turbines and impact on the ecology of the area.
I want to thank everyone who took the time to read our application and make a submission. The detailed submissions gave us a deeper appreciation of concerns. To foster dialogue and explore opportunities to mitigate any concerns, I wrote to all submitters inviting them to meet with me either at the site, in their homes or at a venue of their choosing.
A significant number of submitters responded to that invitation and met with me to provide a personal perspective on their support or opposition to the proposal. All meetings were constructive and I want to acknowledge the willingness of those people to devoting their time to learning more about the proposal and, in particular, discussing the potential to reduce the impact of their specific concerns.
Consultation with stakeholders (including iwi) is ongoing and we are hopeful the Hearing will be held later this year.
In the meantime, if you have any questions please refer to
With best wishes
Kaimai Wind Ltd
Community update - November 2018
Kaimai Wind Farm’s proposal to construct a wind farm on the northern reaches of the Kaimai Ranges is finally open for public submission.
Read more in attached PDF:
New Zealand's wind power industry is poised to deliver large swathes of power in coming years as the country strives to become one of the first in the world with 100 per cent renewable energy sources.
Click here to read the full NZ Herald article: www.nzherald.co.nz/opus/news/article.cfm?c_id=1504443&objectid=12135637
New Zealand needs to generate up to 65% more electricity in the next 30 years as the economy transitions away from fossil fuels. This is one of the key findings in the Productivity commission's report it has presented to the Government.
Read more here: www.productivity.govt.nz/inquiry-content/3254?stage=4
In July, an invitation was mailed to residents living within a 2km radius of the wind farm Kaimai Wind Ltd. is proposing to build on the northern reaches of the Kaimai Ranges at Tirohia.
The application for resource consent has been lodged with the Hauraki District and Waikato Regional Councils and will shortly be notified for public submission.
Communication about the proposal began in 2005 with the Tirohia, Paeroa and northern Te Aroha communities in relation to the erection of monitoring masts to measure wind speed on the proposed site. This was just the first of a diverse range of studies which have been conducted, over subsequent years, to assess the suitability of the site for a viable wind farm.
Insights to that research have been shared over the past two years with public information days, regular community updates and a range of public meetings. However, we were aware that the general nature of these updates may not answer the specific questions of residents who live within 2 km of the wind farm site and its potential effects on the surrounding environment.
We wanted to therefore to extend an open invitation to residents to meet with members of the project team in one-on-one meetings to discuss any issues they may have in relation to such things as noise levels and visual impacts. Meeting residents in their own homes has immense value for the project team as it enables us to experience and understand the unique environmental and personal perspectives residents have about the proposal. It also provides an opportunity to discuss any possible mitigations to any concerns.
A number of meetings were held with residents during the week of 6 to 9 August and more are planned for mid to late September. If you would like to be involved, please contact Clare Bayly on 027 499 8862.
Kaimai Wind Ltd
The past few months have been very busy finalizing the range of studies required for the application to the Hauraki District Council for permission to construct a wind farm on the northern reaches of the Kaimai Ranges at Tirohia.
The proposal is an exciting one, aligned to the Government’s drive to develop clean, sustainable and renewable energy sources for New Zealand and we believe it will deliver a range of benefits to the greater Paeroa area.
Our priority has always been to consult and engage with the greater Paeroa community – as much to explain the proposal as to hear and understand the concerns of individuals and groups. Consultation to date has been wide ranging and we continue to talk with Iwi and community groups. This website contains up-to-date information about the proposal and we encourage you to read that and, if you have any questions or concerns, share them with us on the contact form.
Our understanding of the ecology and potential impact of the wind farm on bird and bat life is being enhanced by additional monitoring in the region, and we have also commissioned site-specific photographs of properties to understand the visual and ‘flicker’ effects of the turbines.
At this stage we are aiming to lodge the application in early June. After scrutiny by the Council the application will be publicly declared, giving the public access to the range of reports and opening the opportunity to submit submissions.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Kaimai Wind Ltd.
I hope 2017 has been a good year for you and your family. It’s certainly been a very busy one for the Kaimai Wind Ltd team with a huge amount of time devoted to meeting with local residents and stakeholders to outline the proposal to establish a wind farm on the northern reaches of the Kaimai Ranges at Tirohia .... (Read more in attached PDF)