I live in Waipara, North Canterbury, a bustling hive of Viticulture, Tourism, Farming and infrastructure projects.

I’m pretty involved with what goes on up there – I’m a trustee of the North Canterbury Economic Development Agency, Chair of the Waipara District Residents Association, a trustee of the Kate Valley Landfill Community Trust, a local resident and also involved with the fledgling Waipara Think Tank – charged with planning strategically for the Waipara we want to see in 1,2,3 decades time.

So it’s fair to say that I’d be plenty interested when a local company announces plans to build a wind farm along a 6km long ridge directly opposite my home.

A perfect opportunity for someone to jump up and become a NIMBY – claiming that the development should happen but Not In My Back Yard.

Well I’m not – I’m an pragmatist who understands that if we want to achieve economic growth in this country, we need resources – one of which is electricity. To generate electricity we have to accept one of several unpalatable options – Nuclear reactors, dams on rivers, coal fired plants… or wind Turbines in appropriate areas.

Mt Cass would seem to be an appropriate area for the farm and as such it would be NIMBYism for me to stand against that.

I will say however that Mainpower has an obligation (and is complying thus far) to consult fully with local residents. Beyond this we have robust Resource Management legislation and anyone and everyone who desires to be heard can and will be heard at consent time.

Me, I’m looking forward to sitting down at the Waipara Wine Village and Day Spa and raising a glass of Waipara’s finest to toast the turbines on opening day….

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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