Meridian land swap plan a poor deal

Press Release – Forest And Bird

Forest & Bird rejects Meridian Energy’s proposed land swap to mitigate its planned destruction of the Mokihinui River on the West Coast. “Meridian is trying to offer this farm land as a sweetener so it can flood the wild Mokihinui River valley for …

31 March 2009 – Wellington
Forest & Bird media release for immediate use
Meridian land swap plan a poor deal

Forest & Bird rejects Meridian Energy’s proposed land swap to mitigate its planned destruction of the Mokihinui River on the West Coast.

“Meridian is trying to offer this farm land as a sweetener so it can flood the wild Mokihinui River valley for a hydro dam,” Forest & Bird Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin says.

Meridian is reportedly proposing to swap 794 hectares of private farm land for the 225 hectares of conservation land that would be flooded by a dam.

“Such a deal would fail to protect the wild Mokihinui River, whose banks of virgin forest are home to endangered blue ducks, giant Powelliphanta snails and weka,” Debs Martin says. “It would not compensate for the loss of such a precious wilderness.”

The West Coast Regional Council and Buller District Council recommended Meridian’s application be declined, and conservation organisation Forest & Bird urges the hearing panel to act on their advice.

The resource consent hearing on the proposed dam reconvenes on April 15.

ENDS

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