Aurora Energy Ltd is seeking to have an old Queenstown Lakes
District Council-owned stone quarry near Wanaka designated
for an electricity switching station and substation.
The Dunedin-based lines company put its case to independent
commissioner Jane Taylor and Cr Cath Gilmour at a hearing in
Wanaka this week. .
The quarry is at the intersection of Ballantyne and Riverside
Rds and six local residents provided written submissions on
Aurora's choice of location for the development and concerns
about noise, electromagnetic fields, visual effects and
proximity to earthquake fault lines.
Raelene and Peter Shanks, owners of the property closest to
the site, submitted their view would be marred by the
stations and they had questions about the potential effect on
their health from the electromagnetic field they would
In addition to those issues, nearby resident Mark Magill was
concerned about contamination of groundwater and fires and
explosions from lightning strikes.
For Aurora, lawyer Phil Page said the company's agreement to
buy the site from the council was conditional on the property
being designated for the stations.
The stations were required to cope with increased electricity
demand in the Upper Clutha over the next 10 years.
Mr Page said transformers on the site would comply with noise
levels set by the council in the district plan, Aurora would
provide evidence the electromagnetic field would be within
national guidelines and planting would mitigate the visual
impact of the development.
Mr Page said any risk of earthquakes at the site was
''The closest mapped fault is 7km away from the site.''
He produced a report from Geosolve which said ''detailed
geological investigations at the site show no evidence of
fault displacements in the last 15,000 years''.
Council planner Ian Greaves recommended the land be
designated as Aurora required, provided the stations did not
create any adverse effects.