Federated Farmers meets Energy Minister

Press Release – Federated Farmers

Federated Farmers this afternoon re-tabled its Compensation for transmission infrastructure report, written by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), at a meeting with the Hon Gerry Brownlee MP, Minister of Resources and Energy.MEDIA RELEASE

 

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29 January 2010

Federated Farmers meets the Energy and Resources Minister

Federated Farmers this afternoon re-tabled its Compensation for transmission infrastructure report, written by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), at a meeting with the Hon Gerry Brownlee MP, Minister of Resources and Energy.

“After I was fog-bound this morning, it speaks volumes that the Minister rearranged his diary to accommodate me,” says Philip York, Federated Farmers electricity spokesperson.

“This afternoon, I took the opportunity to re-table the report we released last November 30.  It encapsulates what we as an organisation wish to achieve on behalf of our members who face having infrastructure built or upgraded on their land.

“Clearly, events this week have graphically revealed just how raw this issue is to some farmers.  Yet our objective in meeting the Minister is not to lobby for an individual, but rather to get the options that farmers and landowners need.

“Federated Farmers, Transpower and the Government all agree that upgrading our creaky electricity infrastructure is an absolute priority.

“Where we differ is that, in rolling the grid project out, it affects people who are rightly passionate about their land.  We, as an organisation, believe we’ve got the solutions to positively go forward with Transpower and the Government.

“Our immediate focus is on the new build and upgrade projects going forward.  We believe a solution is for Transpower to offer landowners the option of receiving annual payments coupled with regular valuation reviews.  Most people would know this as rent. 

“Currently, Transpower only offers the option of lump sum compensation, but it’s clear a number of farmers and landowners want their property rights recognised. 

“In conversations with Transpower, we’ve been told it will take direction from the Government regarding the addition of annual payments into the compensation mix.  Again this relates to new build and upgrade projects only.

“The NZIER report concluded the addition of this annual payment option would cost just $29,000 per annum.  It’s as near to fiscally neutral as we can get and reflects that the time value of money, if paid as a rental or as a lump sum, is effectively the same.

“For people like the Meiers, who have no easement agreements, we’ve put forward a highly constructive idea for the Minister’s consideration.  It’s an idea we feel could substantially smooth the waters going forward.

“Yet I wish to give the Minister time to consider our suggestion.  In the meantime, we will continue to discuss things with Transpower regarding Mr Meier,” Mr York concluded.

 ends

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