The move follows an earlier ruling by the Environment Court announced on 18 May that Genesis Energy’s period of resource consents for TPD installations in the Manawatu/Wanganui region would be cut from 35 to ten years. In June 2000, Genesis was granted 53 resource consents by the Manawatu/Wanganui and Waikato Regional Councils to continue operation for another 35 years.

While it has been suggested that this will give the company time to work out its differences with native populations, the decision has caused concern at Genesis, which says it makes sustainable generation at the TPD scheme unfeasible.

‘The Environment Court heard submissions from three Maori parties who appealed the Regional Council decisions,’ said Murray Jackson, chief executive of Genesis. ‘We cannot plan for sustainable operation of the Tongariro hydro scheme with a ten year horizon.’

Murray added: ‘long term commercial certainty over the operation of our assets is essential to meet New Zealand’s energy needs.’

The TPD scheme was first commissioned in 1973 and consists of the Tokaanu and Rangipo hydro power stations totalling some 360MW in generation capacity.