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Upper Hutt Leader : December 14th 2011
50 UPPER HUTT LEADER, DECEMBER 14, 2011 To order your own copy of photos in this paper, or other CCN titles, check out: pix.ccn.co.nz Adrenalin rush: Richter City Convicts block Hellmilton Raggedy Angst players during the Fright Before Christmas roller derby on December 3. Photo: SIENNA YATES Earthquake shakes up roller derby By ABBY BROWN The ‘‘fright’’ in the roller derby Fright Before Christmas event was scarier than anyone could have predicted. Saturday night’s big earthquake struck between bouts at Wellington’s TSB Arena, sending some people running for the exits, the grandstands reverberating, and old confetti showering down from the roof beams. The MCs handed out free T-shirts to encourage people to stay after reassuring the crowd they were safe. They noted the irony in the earthquake striking just before Richter City All Stars faced off against a team from quake- ravaged Christchurch. The Wellingtonians seemed far less fazed than their southern competitors, scoring so many points the arena’s scoreboard could not handle it. They beat Christchurch 201-104, but the scoreboard actually read 101-104 because it could not show any number above 199. Earlier, the Hellmilton Raggedy Angst from Hamilton came out singing and danc- ing to the Time Warp from The Rocky Hor- ror Picture Show, but the Richter City Convicts beat them 79-72 in the first bout. Scary Maclary still had a pin in her leg from a broken ankle. Undeterred by her five-month absence, she volunteered as a jammer several times. Richter City All Stars captain Skandal Lass said their season had been phenom- enal and she was proud of her team-mates and ‘‘derby wife’’, Tuff Bikkies, who was representing New Zealand at the first Roller Derby World Cup. ‘‘She wishes she could be here, but is having a choice time,’’ Skandal Lass said. The teams stayed up to watch New Zea- land lose to France in Toronto and be placed eighth in the world. New Zealand won their match against Scotland, but lost to eventual world cham- pions the United States 377-8 . The Amer- ican team comprised the fastest flat track skaters in the world. There are now 70 roller derby leagues in New Zealand. Two years ago, there were just a handful. Wairarapa wind farm plan lacks vital detail By WALT DICKSON The proposed Castle Hill Wind Farm project on the Puketoi range in north Wairarapa has been slammed by opposition groups, who maintain it would have massive adverse environ- mental and social impact on the rural north Wairarapa community. The Castle Hill Wind Farm Action Group’s submission took up most of the first day of a resource consent hearing for Gen- esis Energy’s proposed $1.6 billion 30,000- hectare wind farm project. The opposition lobby group rep- resents landowners in affected areas surrounding the seven proposed turbine clusters in Pongaroa, Tiraumea, Alfredton, Bideford, Makuri, Tinui and the Rongomai Valley. Legal counsel for the group Phernne Tancock says the project, if built, is likely to be the largest land-based wind farm in the world. Constructing the up to 286 turbines – some standing as high as 155 metres – is forecast to take seven years. A consent application lodged in August, attracted 101 submissions, 66 in opposition. For the project to get the go-ahead it has to be approved by Greater Wellington Regional Council, Horizons Regional Council, Tara- rua District Council and Masterton District Council. Ms Tancock told the hearing that the application should be declined in its ‘‘entirety’’. ‘‘This is the only action that can sufficiently protect the environ- ment in its current, natural state for future generations and pro- vide for the health and safety, social, economic, cultural wellbeing of the community.’’ She says the group believes the application lacks sufficient details to adequately assess the potential effects of the proposal, let alone to determine whether these can be avoided, remedied or mitigated. The group said Genesis relied on the fact that detailed design work on the project would only start once there was certainty that the consents had been secured. ‘‘Essentially, Genesis is requesting that the panel grant consent to its design guidelines, with no real knowledge of the adverse effects. All of its expert witnesses are heavily reliant on what they say will occur ‘at the detailed design stage’, and Genesis’ future ability to implement best practice. ‘‘Therefore, it is difficult to understand how they can recom- mend that the adverse effects will be minor on a site that has not yet been investigated.’’ The November 28 first day of the hearing involved submissions from six parties within The Castle Hill Wind Farm Action Group detailing concerns over: land- scape, amenity and property values; social and cultural; busi- ness disruption; environment; and traffic safety. The Alfredton Educational Trust (School Buses) submission, also presented on Monday, says the huge increase in the volume and nature of road traffic during the construction of the wind farm presents significant safety con- cerns and also disruptions to the school bus service. On some routes heavy traffic could increase by nearly 4000 per cent. ‘‘In our drivers’ words it would be, ‘like playing Russian Roulette’ on every corner of the unsealed roads and some other roads even after the road upgrades’’. Meanwhile, evidence given last week by public health doctor Stephen Palmer said that people who benefit financially from wind farms on their properties sleep better than those who get no mon- etary compensation. ‘‘It doesn’t matter how noisy a turbine is inside a dwelling. ‘‘If people are getting financial rewards, they don’t suffer health affects or annoyance,’’ said Dr Palmer. He warned that a growing rift could pit ‘‘neighbour against neighbour’’ after 29 landowners entered into a confidential land- use agreement to have turbines on their land in exchange for payment.
December 7th 2011
December 21st 2011