Wind farm declined due to spiritual values

February 26th, 2009 at 11:27 am by David Farrar

Sigh. The Dom Post reports:

An application to build a wind farm near Napier has been declined for the second time by the Environment Court because the site is spiritually significant to Maori.

The Hawke’s Bay-based powerline company Unison applied to add 34 turbines to 15 already approved for a site on Te Waka Range near Te Pohue, on the Napier-Taupo Road. …

Unison was poor at consultation and appeared to have approached iwi as an afterthought. “We’re not opposed to wind farms, we understand the need for renewable energy,” she said. “But not on this site. This is our sacred mountain. We are duty-bound to protect it.”

I don’t think any mountain is sacred. I can understand the decision if the turbines were planned for say a burial place.

I can accept arguments over a mountain’s conservation or scenic values. I wouldn’t back on Mt Cook for example. But arguments about a mountain’s spirtual values have no place in court.

Tags: ,

56 Responses to “Wind farm declined due to spiritual values”

  1. goodgod (1,317 comments) says:

    I would challenge any maori (or anyone) to outline which part of his existence is spiritual, rather than emotional or intellectual. It can’t be done. No one could. If man could do that he would literally be god. Maori may have a conscious emotional attachment to a place, but that is not a spiritual connection. The court was suckered due to their eagerness to be PC and their ignorance.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. emmess (1,398 comments) says:

    A spiritual connection eh?
    Is that like the one Bret Michaels said he had when a chick was the first to take her top off on Rock of Love the other night?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. pdm (707 comments) says:

    It is not a mountain – it is only a bloody ridge which they let sheep, cattle, deer, pgs, goats, horses, dogs, rabbits, possums and other animals walk, run, dig holes, fornicate, pee and crap all over.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    While I’m against all wind farms as being a load or over priced feel good wank that is little more than visual polution this is a crap reason to stop one.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. ben (2,280 comments) says:

    Local iwi may well attach strong spiritual value to that land, but talk is cheap and if they mean it then why wasn’t the land bought and secured years ago? That’s a more reliable signal of commitment than, you know, saying it.

    A concern is how short sighted the EC’s decision is. If anybody or almost anybody can so easily waste so much of other people’s money on such flimsy claims then the effect on investment in long lived and fixed assets will be profound. Because these assets live long, even a small chance of your investment being taken off you will very quickly shift your investment into other things.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Bryan Spondre (225 comments) says:

    RMA reform anyone ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. NeilM (338 comments) says:

    “I can accept arguments over a mountain’s conservation or scenic values. I wouldn’t back wind turbines on Mt Cook for example. But arguments about a mountain’s spirtual values have no place in court.”

    why should scenic values be treated any different to spirtual values. And by spiritual values we are in this instance talking about long-standing historical connection.

    white people are at present getting away with stopping wind farms because they don’t look pretty. I’d say historical connection is a far more tangible issue.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. libertyscott (344 comments) says:

    The way the issue should have been dealt with is rather straightforward:
    – Whose land is it? Is it yours or do you have permission from the landowner to build what you want?
    – Does it interfere with private property rights of others? (e.g. sightlines could be a property right).

    If the answer to 1 is yes and 2 is no, it is nobody else’s damned business. Whether you believe in ghosts or like how they look, if they aren’t your mountains they aren’t your business. If you love the mountain so much, buy it or club with others who do. If you don’t or can’t then it clearly matters less to you than to those who own it.

    Now THAT would be RMA reform!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. MT_Tinman (3,322 comments) says:

    The decision isn’t all bad.

    From what I’ve read windfarms have been a failure in most instances and NZ now has the perfect site for it’s second (after the one just outside of Hamilton) nuclear power plant.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    It sets an unfortunate precedent IMHO, because I understand that the land mass as a whole is the embodiment of the Earth Mother Papatuanuku and, therefore, a living God. Is there a risk that every part of New Zealand is therefore sacred and subject to RMA veto by the local Tangata whenua?

    DPF: “But arguments about a mountain’s spirtual values have no place in court.”
    Do we know what these spiritual values are? Before we pooh-pooh them. Just a thought.

    They are talking about building a wind farm to power the Antarctic research base. Would this be acceptable if the Mt Erebus crash site was chosen as the perfect location? That’s hardly a burial site, so it has – at best – what you might call “spiritual” issues…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. PhilBest (4,757 comments) says:

    It is just absurd that Christianity, which worships a God in a spiritual dimension and condemns the idolisation of creatures and nature, is condemned as reactionary and is being comprehensively trashed by our PC political establishment, while religious beliefs that are all about the idolisation of creatures and nature, and consequently represent the biggest barrier to mankind’s progress that history has ever known, are being kow-towed to.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. baxter (753 comments) says:

    The sacred nature of the mountain could easily be overcome by a significant koha…….ask Meridian….
    Actually though it may be a blessing in disguise, I understand that Trustpower has discontinued their windpower initiatives because while it made economic sense at US70c to the dollar it doesn’t at US50c to the dollar.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Ross Miller (1,618 comments) says:

    I will be fascinated to read the take of the two contenders for the Green’s co-leadership position on this decision.

    After all the Greens are right into wind farms and Maori spiritual values so methinks there is potential for some intellectual confusion here (over and above the norm).

    Perhaps Toad and/or Greenfly can enlighten us.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    I was an expert witness on this appeal.

    I suspect that part of the problem is that the regional District Plan goes beyond the RMA by identifying such values as worthy of protection. The Environment Court is then obliged to balance these with everything else (economic, ecological, cultural, historical). These then dwarf the economic argument. I bet a lot of district plans have these little clauses included…

    Windfarms are increasingly a viable option, as technological improvements have meant that gearing is more efficient and the blades larger. In NZ we have a number of excellent sites that are economically viable- a product of continuous trade winds from across the Tasman. In addition, with most of our endangered birds being poor flyers or flightless, the risk posed to endangered species is far less than overseas. Part of the problem of siting windfarms is that they are sometimes forced to suboptimal locations to placate locals.

    The analysis I did (fwiw) looked at the property value growth before and after a windfarm was established (we have 4 such locations). I looked at average and median prices per hectare, and also nominal and real prices. With sales data for these sites going back to 1982, I had 2,400 observations. Of the 16 permutations, 8 showed that after a windfarm was established that property values increased and in many cases, this was statistically significant. The Te Waka site fell into the mid-range of these other sites, so was not an outlier.

    Property values were used to measure the impact of the establishment of an ‘environmental’ good or bad in the vicinity (people pay premiums to be near environmental goods- like sea views- and discounts to be near environmental bads- like busy roads or dumps). But in fact, most surveys show that windfarms are not a very good example of an environmental bad as most people don’t care about their presence, while others actually like them.

    The increases in property values I detected are likely a consequence of the improvements to local infrastructure and employment the farms created.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Philbest – so, are you saying your Christian spirituality is just better than the Maori spirituality somehow?

    (Because that would fit quite well with the fine Christian tradition of “liberating” Godless colonies e.g. south America by giving the natives the opportunity to be saved by converting them to Christianity, and putting those who resist to the sword, wouldn’t it? But let’s not start that old chestnut up again!)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    PS the site is on private land

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Michael M Wilson (55 comments) says:

    New Zealand has a long way to go before we stop giving “spiritual beliefs” a special no attackable place in our country. If someone says that is their spiritual or religious belief it can not be questioned. Stem cell research, homosexual marriage etc are all stopped not on logic but on beliefs.

    My favorite was LTNZ paying to have the road in Waikato sprinkled in blessed water to remove the Tapu.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. gd (1,780 comments) says:

    LOL couldnt have happened to a nicer bunch of arseholes

    Hoist be their own petard Wonderful All this bullshit coming back to bite the dumbarses on the bum

    Makes my day

    When we get over the crapola of PC and cultural lunacy that grips our nation only then will we get some common sense and move forward

    Until then we will remain stuck in the 18th Century time warp

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    DPF said:
    “I don’t think any mountain is sacred. I can understand the decision if the turbines were planned for say a burial place.”
    Where to start!
    You may not think so David, (that no mountains are sacred) but you are out of step will millions of people world-wide who do. There are many, many mountains across the globe regarded by those who have a historic association with them, as sacred. Your dismissal looks tardy and myopic. Perhaps it’s just that you think Maori people are wrong about this?
    You go on to say that burial places are different. Why is that? Do you regard them as ‘sacred’? Curious contradiction there David. You must be pretty confident then, that the site in question here, is NOT a ‘burial place’ (in which case, I suppose you would have to support iwi’s claim.) How is it that you have such deep knowledge of the situation here (have you connections with the local iwi and know these things for sure) or are you just spouting off?
    How’s that for starters, Ross? If you are tempted to reply, please look at what I’ve written, not what you ‘have always suspected about wacky baccy flogging, mung-bean munching pinko’s’ :-)

    [DPF: As usual you miss the point in every way. A mountain is not sacred due to spiritual values. If you want to believe in mystical life forces, good on you, but why should the planet suffer from higher carbon emissions, because spiritual values stopped some wind turbines. Do you not care about climate change?

    A mountain can be revered for other properties, such as its conservation worth. But that is nothing to do with its life force or spiritual values.

    Burial places are simply about respecting that dead ancestors are buried there. I wouldn’t want someone to build a power station in the middle of Makara Cemetary. That’s not to do with spiritual values – it is to do with respecting those who are alive]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    You must be pretty confident then, that the site in question here, is NOT a ‘burial place’ (in which case, I suppose you would have to support iwi’s claim)
    Oops! I meant: but if it is a burial site, you’d be supporting iwi.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    Dial it back Greenfly. I was there. It’s not a burial site.

    It’s alleged to be Te Waka a Maui by the local iwi- the resting place of Maui’s waka when he fished Aotearoa out of the water.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Chthoniid – I appreciate that you were there (you sure it hasn’t had bodies or bones interred there? I’d be very surprised if it hadn’t. I worked in a museum and spent time reading documents that are not usually available and the extent of ‘burials’ across the land was eye opening!)
    Never-the-less, I am calling Mr Farrar for his comments, which I suspect are knee-jerk and uninformed (unless he was there also :-)
    As a matter of interest and from your point of view; if there was a spot where Cook’s Endeavour was hauled up at the end of his Pacific voyaging (just making a point) would you condone building a wind farm on top of it? (You know I’m refering to your ‘waka’ statement, right?)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. AG (1,834 comments) says:

    If “arguments about a mountain’s spirtual values have no place in court”, what position should we take on the attempt to ban brothels from operating within 250 m of a church? (http://tvnz.co.nz/content/238312) Are some spiritual matters relevant to policymaking, while others aren’t? How do we tell which count? Or are all spiritual matters irrelevant, meaning that any and all believers just have to put up with all activities/behaviour that offends the core of their beliefs? In which case, are religious/spiritual arguments to be discriminated against in public policy debate (i.e. ruled out as being non-pertinent from the git-go), while non-religious/spiritual arguments are allowed to be put into the mix? So religious/spiritual believers become second-class citizens in the public discourse?

    Maybe this whole area is a bit trickier than simply scoffing at silly Maori and their belief that mountains can have mana …

    [DPF: I don’t think arguments over brothels next to churches are to do with spiritual values. It is probably the same argument as whether you would have one next to a library.

    But hey if you want to put the life force of a hill ahead of stopping climate change, that must just mean climate change isn’t that important]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. insider (845 comments) says:

    greenfly – is it really that likely that there were significant burials on the top of large unoccupied hill? (I’m assuming it was unoccupied as there don;t appear to have been arguments about archaeological concerns)

    On the spiritual side, I don’t have any problem with a cemetary being bulldozed. It happens all the time elsewhere. We just don;t have that many and plenty of land for it not to be that significant an issue.

    In terms of their influence, I think there has to be some judgement as to the reality of the belief, its intensiveness and how widespread it is. Just because a few people have an intense belief shouldn’t dictate a project

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. getstaffed (8,040 comments) says:

    Ah lefties fawning in their support of Maori spiritual values.

    Look if the mountain was cited as being spiritually significant to the EBs, Labour and their cronies would have immediately authorized the building of cell towers, brothels and hair dressing salons thereon.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. pkiwi (78 comments) says:

    greenfly – your analogy is not grounded. Cooks Endeavour would be a historically verifiable event. If there were relics they could be moved and the wind farm built. A resting place for a huge-fishing-up-an-island waka? Where is the evidence? There are plenty of iwi that would claim their mountain is the one and only true resting place – I think they should lodge an objection to this claim!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. barry (1,191 comments) says:

    Although I totally disagree with this mumbo jumbo reason , I sort of feel OK about it because maybe – just maybe – its the first step to stopping this dead end effort to get a power supply from wind. If wind was to really be a useful power source we’d have to cover the country in the dambed things. Germany is finding this out in recent times. Wind turbines are simply not economic and the efficiency of the dollar invested is really bad.

    Bring on the mighty atom – the sooner the world realises that the atom is the only way to go – the better.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. transmogrifier (523 comments) says:

    Disagree with the basis of the rejection, but find it amusing to see PhilBest whining again about the poor, downtrodden Christian religion. How one can be so dismissive of one big load of old cobblers and yet swallow another load whole and ask for more is so intriguing for me. Personifying and worshipping nature, bad. Worshipping omnipresent, omnipotent superhero in the sky, great.

    Life is curious, curious. I love it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    …Labour and their cronies would have immediately authorized the building of cell towers, brothels and hair dressing salons thereon.

    …and voting booths ;-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    Wind turbines are simply not economic and the efficiency of the dollar invested is really bad.

    So power companies are just spending millions on wind because they’re bored with having money-fights and have nothing else to do with it?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Murray M (430 comments) says:

    We all know this spiritual thing is a load of old cobblers. Methinks someone’s palm didn’t get greased.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    [DPF: I don’t think arguments over brothels next to churches are to do with spiritual values”
    Do you believe the stuff you write? The objections coming from such a church wouldn’t be the result of the spiritual beliefs of the church-goers???? Really?? Your attempt to bring climate change into the argument is amusing though. You’re beginning to sound like Russel Norman. Worried about the weather, are you? Go have a beer with Rodney. He’ll soon settle your concerns (he’s a qualified environmental scientist, don’t you know!)
    Insider – is it really that likely that there were significant burials on the top of large unoccupied hill Yes, quite likely from my experience, though I don’t know the terrain. The nearest one to me is beside the beach. The next nearest, at the edge of an estuary.
    pkiwi – I’m impressed by your confidence in deciding, for a group of people you don’t know and don’t know anything about, whether their beliefs are valid and true, or not. Are you some kind of Ombudsman?

    [DPF: Once again you prove your inability to follow a logical argument. What motivates people to object may well be spiritual beliefs. So what. There is no law against beliefs. But what I am talking about is the public grounds for their objection.

    And your inability to reconcile your support for mysticism and your support for action on climate change is noted. It’s tough when reality intrudes]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. barry (1,191 comments) says:

    Ah- stephen. Under the previous labour government what other option was there for increasing electricity generation ??

    They were not allowed any new coal generation, there was no more gas (it is running out still) , geothermal has some REALLY BIG problems in the Taupo area – the whole area is slowly slumping and now that they know its slumping then any new generation is going to be saddled with compensation claims at some stage in the future. Hydro was frowned upon and its has been almost impossible to get any new ones up and going,And it was only after blackouts that they agreed to allow the wirinaki emergency station (I think its oil fired) that could only be used in an emergency, so whats left
    ………………………………..only wind.

    and they dont give a shit about how much its costs because electrcity in New Zealand is now a cost plus almost monopolistic industry. The consumer will pay no matter what because there is really no competition- as soon as one puts prices up – so do the rest. And I think all but one are SOE’s

    Now – on wind turbine costs – they are proving to be horendously expensive. The bearings are wearing out years before the are supposed to (they get surface erosion from static electrcity) and they are seriously costly to replace. I recall reading somewhere that wind turbines are some 2 times the cost they were in 2000 – and still going up.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    barry, I wasn’t referring to any particular country re: wind turbines (I was a little vague). You assert that they are a total waste of money, yet they’re being built the world over at quite a rate…

    What blackouts?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. goodgod (1,317 comments) says:

    Personifying and worshipping nature, bad. Worshipping omnipresent, omnipotent superhero in the sky, great.

    Life is curious, curious. I love it.

    One is a projection that is felt, a function of the psyche, not spirituality.

    The other is an attempt to understand the infinite spiritual form humans take after death.

    One is polytheism – fragmentation of the whole, the other monotheism unification of the whole. One is finite, the other infinite. One is an early attempt to understand existence, the other more advanced.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. AG (1,834 comments) says:

    “[DPF: …
    But hey if you want to put the life force of a hill ahead of stopping climate change, that must just mean climate change isn’t that important]”

    Agreed. And if the ONLY reason for not putting the windfarm up was “the life force of a hill”, then I’d say that the decision was dumb (but I suspect that wasn’t the case, and the Maori spiritual values aspect was only one of many factors in a complicated balancing exercise).

    But your claim was that spiritual values have NO place in public policy making AT ALL. That’s all I took issue with. This doesn’t equate to saying they should have immediate trumps status … nor that they are more important than combating climate change, or anything else.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. barry (1,191 comments) says:

    Stephen – no wind turbines in China…………………………….. They’re instead opening a coal fired station about one a day – well they were until a few months ago. I guess many of the new ones are in idle at the moment.

    Now have a look at these sites. there are plenty more if you want to check them out.
    http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2007/07/22/show-us-the-truth-about-wind-farms/
    http://www.greenbang.com/uk-urged-to-ditch-unreliable-wind-turbines-for-nuclear-power/
    http://www.wind-watch.org/news/
    http://windfarms.wordpress.com/
    http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-29005078_ITM
    http://www.viewsofscotland.org/library/docs/EON_Netz.report_2005_e_eng.pdf
    http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/005212.html
    http://pepei.pennnet.com/display_article/293559/6/ARCHI/none/none/1/Wind-Turbines:-Designing-With-Maintenance-in-Mind/

    etc.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. reid (16,748 comments) says:

    You’re all missing the point.

    Unison was poor at consultation and appeared to have approached iwi as an afterthought. “We’re not opposed to wind farms, we understand the need for renewable energy,” she said. “But not on this site. This is our sacred mountain. We are duty-bound to protect it.”

    I know a lawyer who dealt with an issue involving certain Rotorua iwi. Their comment was, if they’d actually asked us beforehand, we would not have had a problem.

    If it was standard practice to actually consult meaningfully with iwi before any development was undertaken in the first place, issues like these would disappear. Sure, certain locations like this mountain might never be agreed to, but such places would be very few and far between.

    That’s the real lesson behind this issue.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Brownie () says:

    I have taken a course in Te Reo Maori recently. I thought is was about time that actually learned some of what is, together with English, one of the official languages of New Zealand.

    One thing that did strike me is that, yeah, a lot of Maori Identity is tied up in their mountain. When formally greeting people and introducing yourself in Maori, you tell the people you are talking to where you are from, what your local river is AND which mountain you were born under. These are the basics of whom one is and that identity is intrinsically tied to the land.

    I’m with the iwi on this one. I’m no white, liberal,maori wannabe, socialist that thinks that pandering to Maori is a form of respect so drops in a powhiri when the next door neighbor comes over for a cup of suger. But having at least tried the language has certainly given me new eyes on the culture and if it was me, I wouldn’t like wind turbines dotted over Mt Aspiring (my maunga) either.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    [DPF: And your inability to reconcile your support for mysticism and your support for action on climate change is noted. It’s tough when reality intrudes]

    Sarky. Isn’t a desire to respect Maori spirituality “real”? Isn’t a desire to take action on climate change “real”?

    Maybe the difficulty in reconciling such conflicting goals is a good example of EXACTLY THE REASON WHY WE HAVE CONSENT HEARINGS UNDER THE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ACT?

    (As opposed to blanket building codes with a list of things that are and are not allowed, pre-ordained by politicians…)

    Hmmm?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    ….and by the way, it’s no longer called ‘wind farm’ – it’s now ‘whind farm’

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. barry (1,191 comments) says:

    Oh very good – it’s now ‘whind farm’

    Mind you – depends on where (were) you are in the country……………

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. paradigm (452 comments) says:

    Maori are calling it “their mountain”. If its their mountain why dont they have title over it? If the land is private property it is not their mountain, it is the owner’s mountain. In selling it, Maori ceeded all rights to it granted by the treaty; I doubt the buyers ever agreed to purchace it under the condition that local (and not so local) Iwi and treat the land as still theirs.

    A problem as I see it is that efficient wind power needs to be built on “high up places” (ie mountains), so this will not be an isolated incident. Applications for turbine construction will tend to be on mounain sides and thus on land some Maori tribe considers sacred. If people wish to push wind power as a climate friendly power source, they are going to need to tell some people to stuff their beliefs, or at least stop trying to apply them to other’s private property.

    As a side note, how does building wind turbines affect the spirits. Supposedly the spirits cant be detected by scientific means which means we are unable to apply a force on them and they cannot apply a force back on us (see Newton, 1687).
    Thus:
    1) They will be unaffected by any change to the enviroment and
    2) They can’t do anything to us even if they get upset.

    Perhaps I should put in a submission that I have it on good authority that the spirits have moved out of the mountain in question. After all it would have an equal amount of proof as to spirits being there in the first place.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. Ross Miller (1,618 comments) says:

    Greenfly … I will preface my remarks by saying (1) no-one who has ever had the privilege of command of (Maori) soldiers
    in battle would ever denigerate beliefs sincerely held and (2) I am immensely proud of my three part-Maori grandchildren.

    So how about you get off your bike and answer my original question.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. johnbt (90 comments) says:

    I have a small collection of NZ history books that were mostly written between 1830 and 1850 and it is amazing how our history has changed over the years. Especially when it comes to Maori culture and spiritual values.
    It is rather strange how even the Maori names for the mountains have changed. For instance, Mt. Egmont was known as Haupapa but is now called Taranaki by the local Maori. Those Maoris must be related to the ones who put in the Treaty claim for their ancestral lands in Wellington.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. wikiriwhis business (4,209 comments) says:

    [And your inability to reconcile your support for mysticism and your support for action on climate change is noted. It’s tough when reality intrudes]

    It’s tough when reality intrudes.

    I think David hit the nail on the head here.

    Life is made up of cultural, spiritual and physical values. Sometimes those values clash. Esp when two cultures are involved.

    On the face of it, Maori sound petty. Philosophically, I see the need for guardians against the agenda of pure business for the sake of finacial gain, but also guardians against pure mysticism affecting society (Taniwha’s etc)

    We need commerce. Maori have historically been commercial using sail ships to trade with Australia in 19th c.

    WE also need culture as humans.

    This recent argument about putting H in Wanganui is irrelevant. Maori opted not to change Huntly back to it’s Maori name.
    Would be too confusing. ken Muir is a wuss advocating the H.

    But I fear those agreeing against the wind farm in this case agree for the wrong reasons.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    Greenfly- as I’m from the Hawkes Bay, my hapu is down a bit from the area (Ngati hori heteraunga) and the Te Waka site has been farmed for close to a century, I find it dubious that it is a burial site.

    This was a site where the ecological and economic arguments for sustainability basically stacked up. It’s difficult to find sites where the economics of windfarms do work. This is one of a small number of ‘optimal’ sites in NZ. It’s fine wanting to have windfarms built on some other mountain, (Te Waka is more like a low ridge between peaks btw), but that’s not going to happen because it’s not economic to do so.

    The obstacles the RMA (and district plans) have had on developing power generation capacity are palpable and the costs- transmitted via higher power prices have social and economic costs.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Chthoniid – You are correct and know more about this particular case than I do, however, my argument here has been with David Farrar’s opinion of the situation (after all, this is a blog, not a news site). I challenge his contradictions. He says:
    “I don’t think any mountain is sacred.”
    then negates his credibility by saying:
    ” I can understand the decision if the turbines were planned for say a burial place”
    Despite his attempts to make me appear illogical and unable to think clearly,
    “DPF: Once again you prove your inability to follow a logical argument” ..etc
    he has been unable to reconcile those two thoughts. In fact, I don’t believe he can see what it is I’m pointing out.
    Many commenters here comment on my immaturity and lack of ability to think, reason, see the true picture, which I find fascinating. They also seem to think that I’m trolling, just to be disruptive. Again, I find that curious.
    Chthoniid – in my town, nga tupapaku were buried in sand hills to be ‘made ready’ for collecting and internment on an off shore island. That site was dug up laterly by council excavators collecting sand for public works, despite pleas from te runaka o te rohe nei. The island too was ‘bought’ (recently reinstated after the ‘mistake’ admitted to) and was grazed for many years, so your assertion that farming proves there is no urupa in existance, while in your case might be true, doesn’t always hold. Apologies for my stupidity, lack of reason etc.
    greenfly

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. Zippy Gonzales (462 comments) says:

    I know a lawyer who dealt with an issue involving certain Rotorua iwi. Their comment was, if they’d actually asked us beforehand, we would not have had a problem.

    You got to the nub of it, reid. One way way or another, you just show some respect.

    Maori, like the Abbo, have a startlingly vivid animist spiritualism. Everything is alive and everything is part of everything else. Early colonial explorers wanting to climb a mountain soon discovered it was best to check with the locals first. That mountain was the local peoples’ grandmother, and understandably got picky when strangers wanted to climb their nana.

    It does no harm to ask permission, for mana’s sake if nothing else.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. reid (16,748 comments) says:

    Exactly right Zippy. When will we ever learn?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    Stephen – no wind turbines in China

    I think there’s quite a few. Though this was a couple of years ago, just a link I came across the other day.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. serge (108 comments) says:

    sacred mountain? First we got rid of the socialist government, but how do we get rid of the red judges? any ideas?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. transmogrifier (523 comments) says:

    Re: goodgod

    One lives in water, one lives on land. One is the size of a large building, one you can hold in your hands. One has a specialized diet, one will eat anything it can find. One is protected and held in awe by many people, one is seen as a pest.

    The blue whale and the rat.

    Both mammals.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,760 comments) says:

    It’s true that the mountain isn’t sacred. It’s too bad some people don’t realise the cult of carbon is a load of crap as well.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. sjv (1 comment) says:

    Barry – you say “no wind turbines in china”. Perhaps you should add this to your reading list:
    US and China in race to the top of global wind industry http://www.gwec.net/index.php?id=30&no_cache=1&tx_ttnewstt_news=177&tx_ttnewsbackPid=4&cHash=3a1c08c3ac

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. PhilBest (4,757 comments) says:

    Oh, come off it, Zippy and Reid, if we can be a “post Christian” society, we can be a “post spiritism” one, full stop.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote