Calls to upgrade Northland's power supply

By Dean Nathan

There are calls to upgrade Northlands power supply following the major power cut across the far north this week and it’s a developing situation with ongoing talks between the power company Top Energy and the traditional custodians of Ngawha.

Chair of the Parahirahi C1 Trust Te Tuhi Robust says there is potential for Northland to create its own power supply with the support of the Electricity Authority, " If things were an ideal situation we could see self-sufficiency for Ngapuhi nui tonu especially through the network that being offered and the resource of Top Energys' situation in a very quick period of time."

Following a major power cut in the far north this week Top Energy have told Te Kāea it’s unfortunate that until they increase the size of the power being generated at the Ngawha station the company can only operate with a connection to the national grid.

The former chair of Parahirahi C1 Renata Tane says a decision to increase production is yet to be finalised, "They're (Top Energy) are required to work together with us on the development of this resource and that is essentially the key issue and when that happens it will then become a possibility." 

Earlier this year the Parahirahi C1 Trust withdrew challenges to the Environment Court over an application by Top Energy for expansion of its production at Ngawha subject to a joint consent order.

Mr Tane says, "We retain our stewardship of this resource and will not let it die.  But if the resource is developed sustainably then it could be an option."

Top Energy aim to double the amount of power production at Ngawha from 25 to 50 megawatts by 2020.