|In the 1970s the then Tasman Electric
Power Board (TEPB) identified the importance of the Lake Matiri
site for hydro electricity generation and commenced planning
for a scheme considerably larger than that proposed today. The
proposed TEPB scheme was primarily intended for peak load management
and would have generated significantly more electricity for
shorter periods of time that the current proposal which essentially
operates with the daily flow of the river.
In 1981 the TEPB were granted a water right by the West coast
Catchment Board to operate their proposed scheme.
In 1996 the Kahurangi National Park was gazetted with lake Matiri
excluded from the Park because of the previously declared interest
in electricity generation. Lake Matiri is surrounded by national
park and much of the land over which the penstock will traverse
is conservation estate or marginal strip administered by the
Department of Conservation.
In 2000 New Zealand Energy acquired from Network
Tasman (previously TEPB) all rights to develop the proposed
power scheme including a parcel of land in the upper Matiri
valley on which the power house for the proposed scheme would
In 2001 a Water Conservation Order (WCO) was
gazetted for the Buller river and tributaries including lake
Matiri and the Matiri river. The WCO provides specifically
for development of the proposed hydro generation scheme while
placing limits on lake level variation due to artificial control
and ensuring fish passage for eels and koaro.
Now in 2006 New Zealand Energy are seeking a concession from
DOC to develop and operate part of the power scheme on DOC
land, and are seeking resource consent from the Tasman District
Council to undertake activities associated with construction
of the scheme, along with renewal of the water right for the
purpose of taking water for power generation.