Wairakei to Whakamaru New 220kV Transmission Line Wairakei to Whakamaru New 220kV Transmission Line

Wairakei to Whakamaru New 220kV Transmission Line

How consultation throughout a project can result in community support rather than opposition

Selecting the route for the Wairakei to Whakamaru Transmission Line involved a tailored process. The new transmission line was to replace an existing smaller one. Transpower’s ACRE methodology (a systematic route selection process) was refined to take into account the specific circumstances of this project, successfully using multi-criteria analysis and weighting sensitivity tests informed by stakeholder and community consultation, to identify the preferred alignment from a complex set of options.

A ‘dirty-boots’ consultation process was used throughout, focused on engaging with affected landowners (including Māori Land Trusts). The unusual result was that a majority of submissions lodged on the designation were in support of the Project, and the only appeal was subsequently withdrawn.

Although a project with national significance (supplying the National Grid with power from new renewable electricity generation sources), Transpower preferred to use the local council hearing process rather than the national consenting process (via the EPA and a Board of Inquiry), thereby saving a considerable amount of cost and maintaining a more direct local relationship.

Our role

Preliminary assessment of landscape and visual constraints, route selection process, co-ordination of sub-consultants. Visual and landscape impact assessment, cultural impact assessment, ecological impact assessment and Notice of Requirement/ resource consent applications and Assessment of Environmental Effects. Expert evidence to joint hearing, expert evidence to Environment Court. Follow-up work regarding implementation of resource consents.

The facts

ClientTranspower NZ Ltd
Project teamRobert Schofield
Bron Faulkner
Pauline Whitney
Pen Moore
Hamish Wesney
Worked withTaylor Baines, Simmons & Associates, Enviromedix, Agricultural Developments (NZ), Energy Market Services, Mitton Electronet, Tim Kelly Transportation Planning, Marshall Day Acoustics and Tourism Resource Consultants
Project date2008 - 2012