|Return to Welcome Page|| Submission
Meridian Energy Mill Creek Hearings.
to Update Page
I personally presented this hurriedly written submission to the
Hearings of the Greater Wellington councils to Meridian Energy's
proposal to erect 31 industrial scale
In summary I opposed the application and called for a moritorium on all such proposals until NZ communities had been re-enfranchised and can again have the capacity to make intelligent uses of their electrical potential.
My reflections on my submission to Sustainable Energy Forum are included below.
re Project Mill Creek
I appreciate this
opportunity to make a submission on the Meridian Energy proposal. I
apologise for its brevity. Monday week ago an error at the Regional
Council meant I received two days notice of my submission to the
Ngauranga-Airport Corridor hearings and on Thursday the Green Party
called for urgent submissions on their participation in the ETS. My
submission outlining the folly of the ETS can be read on my website www.bonusjoules.co.nz
My website plus both submissions form background to my submission today.
I have been
involved in one way or another with the Bulk-gen electricity industry
for three decades now and have long been a proponent of making
intelligent use of our wind potential. I do not perceive this Meridian
Energyproposal as an intelligent use of it.
The summary of
submissions suggests that most people supporting the proposal do so
because they believe “wind turbines are a renewable source of
energy” and those opposing it do so because of their concerns for the
health and welfare of those living close to them. I did not spot any
submissions that really looked at the big picture. I will attempt to do
At the advent of the Cheap Mineral Oil/Gas age in 1900 there
were 1654 million human beings, the majority of which were rural based.
At the end of the Age, as of yesterday, there are an estimated 6,717
million human beings, the majority of which are urban based. NZ’s
population has increased 4 fold too in that time and has increased by
over 400,000 this century alone. That is the equivalent to an increase
of 8 million people in terms of the global average consumption of
resources - assuming the average NZer uses at least 20 times the global
Nations like NZ
have made the fatal error of confusing energy with some of the forms it
can take – fossil fuels and Bulk-generated electricity in particular.
As a result we have vastly undervalued resources such as mineral oil/gas
and now our credit systems based on this fallacy are about to implode.
In brief, the era of access to cheap mineral oil/gas is over and over 6
billion humans are now at grave risk of perishing in an imminent hideous
global war as inflation and credit collapse demolishes the remaining
civics in wasteful countries like New Zealand, the USA, the UK et al and
we go feral.
event is not inevitable. We can avert it if we instantly start a radical
restructuring and begin to make intelligent uses of our carbon,
electrical and solar potential. We have one great unprecedented
advantage. We are at the confluence of a number of great technologies:
can enable communities to radically reduce their consumption of mineral
and biomass resources while sustaining their credit systems and their
wealth in general. It will enable us to develop our dwellings as
generators that play an intelligent role in enhancing the resilience of
their local electrical grid.
There is a
requisite for this to occur. Communities need to have the intelligence
so we can best use and conserve resources. This intelligence cannot
occur where democracy is lacking and there is not a free flow of
This high risk of
catastrophic warfare can only be averted if regions like the Wellington
region provide the world a model of sustainable uses of our solar,
electrical and carbon potentials.
s such a model look like?
s such a model look like?
The community has full control of its regional electrical grid and this is administered by a directly accountable and democratically elected council. This enables true intelligence to be generated. Citizens retain control of how and who has access to the knowledge of how they use their dwellings. This knowledge can be collated and used for the planning and provision of urban development, health systems, education programmes, open source broadband, efficient transport systems and maximising the resilience of the electrical grids and the efficiency of resource use generally. This control of knowledge is critical if the community is to make effective use of variable resources such as wind, solar and tidal forms of energy.
It is essential
too that the intelligence gained by the community from its local
electrical grid is supplemented by constant review of the performance of
local dwellings, its local urban solar capacity and of local resources
such as soils, water, air, plants etc.
How does the current Wellington model compare with this (sustainable) model?
documents I received concerning the Meridian Energy proposal suggests
Wellington councils and most submissions are very concerned about the
impacts on drainage, water quality, some transport, visual and local
houses. This is evidence of considerable intelligence in these areas.
However this body of intelligence exists in a vast vacuum of
intelligence that suggests the region simply has not the capacity at
present to evaluate this proposal.
There is no body
of intelligence underpinning a sustainable regional and nation
population size. Our political and business leaders espouse continual
population growth. Translate their logic into demand for Bulk-generated
electricity then soon the whole region will be covered with large
turbines. This alone is a recipe for misery.
Since 1998 democracy has not existed in our nation with
regards to how we use our electrical potential. In particular,
Wellington citizens have lost a range of essential civil rights and we
are now effectively just tradable commodities. Indeed almost every Bulk-gen
electricity consumer living in our region for this century has been
traded at least once in the new regime. We have little or no access or
control over how our personal information is used. As a result local
councils have no access to this vital data for planning and education
purposes and it is now dissipated among three or four corporations who
use it to maximise the short- term returns to their principle
shareholders (mainly merchant bankers).
Re Solar Capacity
Again there is an
almost complete vacuum in this intelligence in the region. What
intelligence there is suggests that speculative builders are rapidly
destroying our solar potential. For instance my cottage received all day
sun for over 70 years till 1998 when the WCC allowed my northern
neighbour to extend upwards, thus destroying most of my access to the
sun in winter periods. (See my website –David Parker presentation)
Similarly it recently allowed my neighbour to build a fence that shades
the concrete floor in my solarium during winter months. I am now poorer,
live in a less healthy dwelling, and the local electrical grid is less
resilient. This destruction of our solar potential is endemic the
Wellington region. It is
clearly unsustainable to permit these Bulk-gen wind turbines to be
installed while this is occurring. In this context Meridian’s
application is just daft.
230-volt systems is still some way off but the potential is very real
and great, especially for communities that own their local wiring grids.
Wellington City has no such control and at present our grid is at risk
of collapse. The optic fibre system is literally pulling the poles over.
This risk, which rocketed after the city sold it to overseas owners, has
been averted by the temporary stewardship of it by the Auckland
community. However this is about to end soon. The city has ended up with
very expensive and low quality broadband of very limited intelligence.
(See Photo essay of poles falling over on my website.)
monitoring and response systems.
The Electricity Reform legislation of the 1990s effectively
precludes the region from using its 230-volt electrical grid “to
encourage efficiency in energy use and the development and use of energy
from renewable sources.” (Wellington Plan 25.2)
Reform legislation specifically bans communities from owning both their
grid and its intelligence. It effectively forbids strategies that might
reduce profits from Bull-gen electricity sales i.e. the diversion of
investments into general energy efficiency practice. I witnessed first
hand the impact of this legislation on Capital Power-TransAlta
operations. Energy efficiency strategies and technologies were
dismantled for these
empowered customers and “reduced profits”.
technology, eg the Meridian-ARC meters are being installed in other
regions but the technology is designed to serve Meridian interests only.
Citizens cannot use it to broadcast to their local council or consumer
support group or other research/advisory body. The current owners of
Meridian Energy might not but future owners may well farm and on-sell
using the smart technology fails to meet the parameters of an
intelligent dialogue – the conversation is basically all one way –
Meridian does all the talking. I was informed the Wellington region is
not getting the ARC technology and so the capacity to use “smart”
appliances in an intelligent way will pass us by anyhow.
was a leader in this field and our capacity to make intelligent uses of
the ripple system was a world model in sustainability. This capacity was
destroyed by the Electricity Reforms which created a national structure
in which the Bulk-gen electricity companies can make their largest
profits off stressed grids – especially those with fossil fuel fired
NZers in all
communities throughout the nation have lost their
democratic right to vote how such technology is used. As such it
can be used by the new owners of the technology to control and commodify
us and repress the development of truly intelligent systems, including
dwelling based generation. Which is the real reason behind the
Electricity Reforms here and around the world.
In this light I
find the submissions in favour of the proposal by the likes of EECA, the
MED, Transit NZ and the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce
remarkably ignorant. They and those who argue this project will work to
achieve nation energy efficiency goals and work to sustain vital climate
balances fail to understand the wider issues and ignore the current
reality in New Zealand.
The reality is we
have invested in these Bulk-gen wind farms turbines for several years
now and we are emitting more pollution than ever. They have not added to
security of supply and never can while our economy remains based on
constant population growth and while the system remains undemocratic and
designed to maximise inefficient use of resources.
Are they not
aware of the secretive Meridian-Comalco deal, which effectively gives
them control of Meridian? It means until 2030 Comalco controls over half
of NZ’s current capacity to generate electrical products from hydro
resources i.e. 15% of our total national electrical product?
Are they not
aware this probably means the average citizen ends up paying for the
costs of the thermal generation required to balance the grid load?
Are they not
aware that over 90% of the aluminium Comalco produces gets exported to
make car parts so the average NZ citizen ends up subsidising more cheap
polluting devices on the planet? So much for caring for the planet! And
now Meridian Energy attempts to foist huge wind turbine conglomerates on
us in the name of “carbon neutrality”.
And how can
Transit NZ be neutral about the proposal when the reality is the
shambolic state of Wellington City’s infrastructure means the trolley
bus system is at risk of failure?
I hear rumours
that this year the Bulk-gen wind conglomerates have generated 10% of
their potential capacity. This is a fraction of what we were promised.
It shows the folly of huge, poorly planned projects like this.
I am for
community-owned wind turbines in community owned grids with high
community intelligence. This
makes for balanced development and resilient grids using all the
resources in the community. I understand that is more the model in
places like Denmark, the pioneer in wind turbine use.
Until we have
such sustainable models in place here I oppose this proposal and call
for a moratorium on all Bulk-gen projects until (1) we have a clear and
sustainable framework of what our region’s ultimate demands on
resources are and (2) legislation is in place ensuring communities can
use their electrical, carbon and solar potential in democratic and
The model that
Meridian Energy is part of is very unsustainable and if we leave it to
follow its inevitable course we can expect our landscape to become one
great industrial military complex.
Many decades ago I did a psychology degree and it was clear to
meet since its genesis the Meridian model ticks all the boxes for being
a psychopathic structure.
I know for certain a sustainable model exists. It is here. It
lies in our history for most of last century. So lets take time out to
resurrect it and provide humanity with a way of avoiding that hideous
global catastrophe I spoke of. I am sure the Meridian folk would be much
happier working in such a humane model. The moratorium may require
another Parliamentary Inquiry into Electricity but this time its
committee should be filled with people who enjoy a sound knowledge of
civics and democracy.
I look forward to your questions.
Reflections on submission to Sustainable Energy Forum
Well that was the
week and a bit that was. First giving a submission re the Ngauranga
–Wellington Airport proposal, then a submission re Green Party ETS
decision and yesterday a submission re Meridian Energy’s proposal to
build a conglomerate of Bulk-gen wind turbines (Project Mill Creek) in
Wellington. All in all it is remarkably easy to conclude these were just
rather exhausting and futile exercises – particularly now that the
Green Party has transferred control of much of New Zealand’s future to
the Money Traders, in particular the Eronian Carbon Traders.
The question for
me now is do I go along with the Green Party decision, accept the regime
and start to concentrate on earning money and consuming in the lavish
manner of the promoters of Carbon Trading? The Green Party decision
reveals a fatalistic acceptance that a catastrophic global war is now
even more imminent and inevitable. In face of such hopelessness perhaps
I should just give up and join the Carbon Binge Party too while it
lasts? I am sure I could blast through a few hundred barrels of mineral
oil tripping around the planet over the next year or two.
I suspect there
will be quite a few people asking similar questions. For others the
Green Party has solved many of their personal dilemmas re carbon use.
The Green Party
plays a critical role because it is highly influential among the 15% or
so of the population who are mainly middle class, who destroy about 60
barrels of mineral oil each day per 1000 people and who are looking for
guidance on how to live sustainably. This group is often identified as
the “change leaders” that enable the 50-60% who are “change
passive” to alter their behaviour and thus societies adapt (or fail to
adapt). This drags the “change resistant” minority along.
The Green Party
caucus has signalled very clearly to the “change leaders”– Its OK
folks – Carry on as Usual – the Market will provide for your
children. I did hear Jeanette trying to say otherwise but it is clear
she is unaware of the fact that we are Mirror Beings – our brains are
wired with networks of mirror neurons that cause us to respond to what
is, not what is said. What matters is the walk, not the talk.
Our neural networks now register the reality that the Green Party
formally dances to the ETS tune now. And we can be sure the media will
amplify this reality in the popular mind.
The Green Party
has supported the ETS informally for quite a period now, even when Party
leaders were saying they opposed it. Jeanette reacted quite sharply and
objected to Mary Wilson’s suggestion on Checkpoint on ETS DAY
(Tuesday) that “We always all knew that the Green Party was going to
support the Emissions Trading Scheme…” Mary reflected the insights
I knew it was
almost a certainty after the 2006 budget in which the Green Party caucus
negotiated tens of millions of dollars towards the entrenchment of the Enviroschools
ethos into our education system. Longer-term SEF members will recall how
I have provided the forum with a detailed exposition of how Enviroschools
had its genesis in the psychopathic world of Arthur Andersen and Co and
the Enronian trading ethos. That is why it was designed without
substantive reference to the role carbon plays in our lives and fails to
provide a coherent vision of our roles as stewards of carbon flows and
balances. This means it accurately reflects Parliament’s fundamental
ethos and funding for it occurs.
I am aware the
resource is being reviewed. However to my knowledge it still is unable
to communicate a comprehensive vision of humans as Carbon Beings and at
this point in time a recent survey I did of NZ’s leading Environmental
Educators has provided no evidence of such a vision.
I have very good
reason to believe the Green Party caucus believes that Carbon Tax ethos
is the way to go but their lifestyles as Parliamentarians are very much
in dissonance with the concepts of stewardship implicit in the ethos.
This dissonance has consistently been reflected in the symbols used in
their media statements and the vote reflects the Parliamentarian walk.
The ETS ethos was
very apparent in an address Jeanette gave to the Methodist national
conference at the Wesley Church in Wellington a year or so back. What
was interesting is that the congregation was in sympathy with her for
most of her sermon but belief systems diverged sharply at the point at
which she started talking about carbon trading mechanisms as a solution.
The audience turned off in a most palpable way. One of the first
questions afterwards asked her if the concept of “carbon offsetting”
is just a way of our justifying our continuance with unsustainable uses
of carbon and I sensed the congregation felt that Jeanette was unable to
provide a convincing case that this is not so.
leads to the question: now the Green Party is committed itself formally
to the ETS framework where will people who are strongly driven by
beliefs in sovereign rights, peace, equity, democracy and stewardship
put their votes now? Will the vacuum lead to the resurrection of the
Values Party again or some other movement that expresses the will of all
those who reject the pathology of the ETS?
for our sovereignty are enormous. Federated Farmers and others are
correct when they say the ETS has the potential to have a far more
profound and destructive impact on New Zealand than the Economic Reforms
of the 1980s. Just think of the potential of a few overseas merchant
bankers to be able to manipulate and profit from our every use of carbon
and what a massive control and wealth accumulation the ETS affords them.
Of course the
process will be opaque to most people, as evidenced by the current
carbon trading systems – in particular mineral oil/gas trades:
beneath the hysterical media headlines about “sky high prices” for
mineral oil. The reality is that the price set by “The Market”
trades represents a vast undervaluation of the resource by an elite
is really occurring is that the profits and power base of the elite of
that billion elite are now put at risk as their credit systems implodes
because their access to cheap mineral oil/gas is reduced. And within
that global reduction of access we have some dramatic sector reductions.
SEF readers will recall the NYT article I quoted last week in which
reference was made to the fact that whereas once the big corporations (Exxon Mobil, BP, Royal
Dutch Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Total of France and Eni of Italy)
once controlled the majority of global mineral oil reserves they now
control only 13% and currently instead of investing their current huge
profits in research they are using them to buy back shares in an attempt
to sustain their market price. That’s often the sign of a sunset
sector with its principle shareholders skipping out at the last moment
just before the whole valueless structure implodes.
Similarly we are
seeing the unsustainability (insanity?) of basing a massive credit
expansion based on valuing mineral oil at $US10-20 a barrel. The Stock
Markets and dwelling speculation went rampant with no underpinning of
real wealth. Now we witness the Money/Carbon traders frantically
propping up the prices of the Stock Markets and mortgages by siphoning
off vast quantities of wealth out of the pockets of the average person
using inflation and publicly funded bailouts.
I read recently
that the US Fed effectively doubled the liabilities of the average US
citizen in one weekend. By accepting public liability for Fanny Mae and
Freddie Mac it doubled the effective public debt of the USA over night
from $US5 trillion to $US10 trillion. The situation is probably no
better in NZ and KiwiSaver is effectively just another bailout of the
traders. (AMP reported this morning KiwiSaver had underpinned its
profits – this is a “Government approved” company whose share
price has dropped from $NZ28 to about $NZ8 during a decade of very cheap
pointed out that US citizens remain oblivious to the massive destructive
impacts the Fed’s $US5 trillion bailout of the Money Traders will have
on all manner of public services. I suspect most NZers, including many
Green Party supporters are similarly oblivious to the impacts of the
Party’s endorsement of the Carbon Trading Ethos.
The ETS works to
destroy stewardship of mineral oil and the consequent severe
undervaluation of the resource leads to it premature destruction of
reserves. All that most of these people will be aware of is that somehow
the Green Party is overtaken by the events it helped cause and the Party
will become irrelevant in its current form. It will be seen as “out of
touch” with the desperate reality of inflation, stagflation and
general divisiveness afflicting the average person.
$NZ1 billion “insulation” package works out at about $NZ200 a person
over 15 years. The package will soon evaporate into the economic black
hole of the ETS and general mayhem. Already many of us are experiencing
10% inflation and this is set to escalate i.e. the purchasing value of
our dollar will be halved in 7 years. It is also helpful, if painful, to
recall the sale of Telecom for $$NZ4 billion.
Already the new
ownership structure of our telecommunications system has cost us many
tens of billions of dollars. Recall how a special “education
package” of $NZ400 million was constructed from the Telecom sale
proceeds to appease opponents of the sale. Where are the benefits of the
package for the classes of 1990 now? Ask our young people who are
experiencing escalating student loans ($NZ11 billion now?) and general
personal indebtedness and homelessness.
The reality of
the ETS ethos is that the State Owned Enterprises, which are supposed to
be much of the source of this billion-dollar package, will not exist
much longer. Recall how the mineral oil price blip in 1979 created
considerable division and strife in NZ, enabling
”Market Forces” to dictate that we sell many of our national
assets. Well soon those “Market Forces” will be stronger than ever
once the election year sweeteners have gone sour here and in the US. The
“insulation” package will evaporate in the same way that all such
packages do that are born of an unsustainable ethos.
democracy and the likes of Meridian Energy, I will post below my
submission against their Mill Creek Project proposal. It may be of use
to those who are confronted with and need arguments against such
proposals in their region. It may also help provide a framework for
developing sustainable models of living.
381 of the
submissions were in support with 417 opposed and 5 neutral. The
summaries of the submissions evidenced very few that looked at the big
picture so I made that my aim. (I had received a ready-made submission
document from Meridian for me to sign and post in detailing my/their
reasons for supporting their project – many supporters reflected
I point out that
the commission looking at the Meridian Energy proposal is working in a
national vacuum of intelligence that is particularly evident in the
Wellington region, which has a 230 volt grid system near collapse and
which local councils have no control over at all anymore. I call for a
moratorium on all such proposals until we establish both an ultimate
limit on demand for Bulk-gen electricity and the basics to ensure
resilient local grid structures.
As an aside I
said to the panel that there is a very real probability that under the
current regime we could see our countryside converted to a
military-industrial complex of Bulk-gen turbines. They should not
underestimate this probability. Within hours of my statement to the
resource consent hearing the Government announced it is “calling in”
the Contact Energy proposal for Raglan as a matter of “national
revealing. The Government is prepared to take such drastic measures for
private companies like Contact and TransPower. And the Government
describes the institution of Fascist measures by such a euphemism. It is
as though the removal of civil rights is like calling in children from
their play to have dinner or to class or calling the cows in to be
At the end of my
submission I opened my arms wide and invited questions. There was not a
single question. The chairperson complemented me that I had kept my
promise and had indeed provided a big picture. There was no indication
that the commissioners could see it though. I detected not a flicker of
agreement when I said at the end it is critical they conclude is
critical that NZ declare a moratorium on such projects, including this
I had an hour to
fill before a lecture and thought I would go to the Rita Angus
exhibition at the nearby Te Papa. Even though I had long anticipated the
Green Party caucus decision some part of me hoped against hope that
maybe a groundswell of sanity within the Party might prevail. And now
the unquestioning commissioners had left me hanging in a vacuum. I am
not used to talking into a microphone and hearing my voice booming back
at me through amplifier systems. It creates a sense of a strange
artificial loop in my head and it is hard to feel I am part of a real
spiritual sustenance after experiencing two weeks of mean, miserable
visions of the nature of energy and I knew Rita Angus enjoyed a potent
and vibrant vision of its nature.
I walked into yet
another squalid vision of the nature of energy.
I discovered Te Papa is featuring an exhibition of art works
framed as “ Moving towards a Balanced Earth -Kick the Carbon Habit”.
I watched families reading the propaganda about how the exhibit is
Government and MfE sponsored and how it is “carbon neutral” and how
“ 120 trees will be
planted to offset the carbon emissions for the New Zealand venue,
through carbon-offset credits from the CarbonFund…” As I observed
the visitors to Te Papa soaking up this ethos I realised just how
insidious the Spin promoting the denial of stewardship in us is and how
morally bankrupt our Government structures are now.
Rita revitalised me but the lecture
worked to devitalise me. A range of Government Departments including
Treasury have sponsored the destruction of yet more barrels of mineral
oil bringing Dr Roberto Roson from Italy to tell us about using economic
modelling to examine the consequences of climate change.
In summary, the modelling was based on
2001 data –including, I established afterwards, IEA data. SEF members
are very aware how IEA projections have been based on mere wish
fulfilment and are no reflection of the limited nature of mineral
suggests climate change could reduce the global Real GDP by up to 0.10%
by 2050 and “one would be better off living in Holland than in
Bangladesh”. Perhaps I did not ask my question clearly enough when I
asked if it would be more useful to focus on the impact of mineral oil
use on GDP. Roberto answered they could alter the oil or “energy”
factors in their model but his response did not satisfy me.
feedback between mineral oil prices and our use of biomass is very rapid
and enormous, as we have seen with the move to biofuels for cars. It has
promoted the use of massive monocultural farming techniques that destroy
vital forests and soil balances. Poorer countries are reverting to
wood-based cooking as mineral oil prices become prohibitive. There was
not time to point out to Roberto that the above mentioned Bangladesh is
now close to famine as the global food growing potential is increasingly
used to fuel cars.
research is displayed on a graph that was required to show maximal
variations of O.1% with US-EU-EEFSU variation under 0.02% of GDP.
I suspect it will
require a very deep graph to illustrate the drop in global GDP if we
attempt to persist with current mineral oil/gas policies till 2050. I
left the lecture wondering if anyone is modelling how much impact the
Climate Change industry is having on vital carbon balances.
The unedited and
hurriedly written Meridian Mill Creek submission is below. At least the
act of making the submission is a vote for democracy and I am grateful
that democracy has not yet been “called in” on Meridian Energy’s
Hope it helps