The suggestion by Kate Longmuir that the campaign to bury high voltage transmission lines will require spending of $4 billion in the near future ( Central Leader, February 19) indicates that she has not read the petitions signed by more than 2800 people.
The petitions ask for a commitment to undergrounding through urban areas ‘‘over a reasonable period of time, having regard to the resources this entails’’ and speak of ‘‘the long term cost’’ and the need to achieve ‘‘the most cost effective solution’’.
The $4 billion figure is Transpower’s all-up figure for burying urban lines throughout New Zealand, which would take decades.
The cost savings which have inflicted pylons on our area have enabled Transpower to provide dividends of $150 million plus a year to the Government for several years.
Part of this should be released for undergrounding, starting with Auckland’s gateway at Onehunga.
Just because people owning properties close to pylons may have bought them more cheaply does not mean that they (and their community) should put up with them indefinitely.
Kate Longmuir is correct to be concerned about limits by Transpower on landowners’ rights to build near pylons.
Undergrounding will enable more efficient use of valuable commercial and industrial land in our growing city.
Like your corresponent, I want child poverty and health issues to be