The generation of ‘green’ energy is something I strongly support. I admire the engineering feat, and I have to say that the visual impact on the landscape doesn’t bother me too deeply. But I don’t live in the region any more. Besides, given that Woodville is at the heart of a farming area that only 130 years ago was known as the ‘Seventy Mile Bush’, my feeling is that the clear felling of this once forested region was a change to the landscape far more traumatic, for both tangata whenua and the natural world, than the installation of 55 windmills.
Nevertheless, standing at the foot of one of the 70-metre pylons, looking up at the rotor turning directly above my head, I immediately felt uncomfortable: there was something about those huge blades churning up the air that was more than a little disturbing. Although it’s not something a supporter of ‘green’ energy might care to admit, I have to say that I just did not enjoy being around the windmills. And so, since that visit to Te Apiti, I’ve had a certain sympathy for the opponents of windfarm developments.