Deadline looming for power plant decision

Time is running out for the Government to decide whether people will get a say on Nova Energy’s proposal to build a large gas-fired power plant in south Waikato with significant impacts on the environment and climate change, the Green Party said today.

“The Government should ‘call in’ Nova’s application to build a new gas-fired power plant as a matter of national significance so everyone gets to have a say, because it will affect New Zealand’s commitments under the Paris Climate Change Agreement,” said Green Party energy and resources spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“New Zealand has committed to reducing our climate pollution under the Paris Climate Agreement, so it would be ridiculous to allow big new sources of climate pollution to be built.

“It would be a massive failure of policy and leadership to allow a new power plant that could emit an estimated 425,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution a year and dismiss its impacts on the climate.

“Almost 3000 people have signed a petition asking Nick Smith to show leadership about this power station.

“The Resource Management Act says that whether a project is relevant to New Zealand’s international obligations to the global environment – like the Paris Climate Agreement – is a factor in deciding if it’s a matter of national significance that can be ‘called in’.

“This dirty power plant could need another 17,000 hectares of trees planted to suck up all the CO2 pollution it could spew out.

“It’s common for power plants to be ‘called in’ because of their national significance, and Nova’s proposed large 360 Megawatt new gas-fired power plant should be too.*

“Whether you’re personally for or against this power station, its size makes it so significant that it must be treated as a matter of national interest,” Mr Hughes said.

Environment Minister Nick Smith has until Tuesday 25 October to decide whether to ‘call in’ the 360 MW power plant proposal as an issue of national significance for either a board of inquiry or the Environment Court to make the consenting decisions, or leave the decisions to the Otorohanga District and Waikato Regional councils, under the timeframe in the RMA.

*List of electricity projects called in under the RMA

·         Taranaki combined cycle (gas) plant – similar to Nova’s proposed Waikato plant

·         Hauāuru mā raki wind farm

·         Tauhara II geothermal plant

·         Turitea wind farm

·         Transpower North Island grid upgrade

·         Te Waka wind farm

·         Te Mihi geothermal plant

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

NZ needs strong protection against water privatisation

New Zealanders deserve strong protection against the future privatisation of water assets, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Nature missing in RMA reform

The Government has missed a crucial opportunity to redesign the resource management system with climate and nature at its heart. 
Read More

Story

Report shows reducing actual farming emissions vital

Evidence shows that relying on offsets to reduce agriculture’s impact on the climate will not work, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Budget 2022: Greens call for urgency with nature-first climate investments

Budget 2022 shows progress on conservation commitments in the Green Party’s cooperation agreement Green Party achievements in the last Government ...
Read More

Story

Nature needs us to act right now

The Green Party welcomes the release of the implementation plan for Te Mana o te Taiao Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and calls on the ...
Read More

Story

Urgent action needed to bring natural environment back from the brink

The release today of Environment Aotearoa 2022 is a sobering reminder of what is at stake if the Government does not step up and take urgent action...
Read More

Latest Energy and Resources Announcements

Story

Government must stop all new oil and gas exploration

The Green Party are welcoming a pause on all remaining oil and gas exploration, and call on the Government to stop it all together. 
Read More

Story

Crown mineral change does not go far enough

Long overdue changes to the Crown Minerals Act are a welcome step in the right direction but the Government needs to go further to end the nonsensi...
Read More

Story

Fix electricity market to help both climate and cost of living

The four big electricity companies should be required to reinvest massive profits into cutting both household bills and climate pollution, the Gree...
Read More

Story

Luxon risks burning down five years of climate progress

Chris Luxon’s plan to reopen new gas projects in the middle of the climate crisis is about as irresponsible as it gets. 
Read More

Story

Global energy agency calls for end to oil and gas

Fossil fuel corporations claiming gas as a suitable “transition” fuel is jeopardising New Zealand’s chances of achieving its net zero climate chang...
Read More

Story

The search for fossil fuels must come to an end

Following a High Court decision yesterday the Green Party is calling on the Government to amend the Crown Minerals Act to end fossil fuel extractio...
Read More