Un­der­ground­ing

Central Leader - - OPINION -

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

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