Friday, 6 November 2009

Good News!

The Environment Court has declined consent for a windfarm in Central Otago's Lammermoor Range, Meridian Energy says.

Resource consent for Project Hayes, a $2 billion, 176-turbine windfarm, was granted to the power company in 2006 and 2007, but was subsequently appealed to the Environment Court.

A hearing began in May 2008 and concluded in February this year.

In a statement today, Meridian spokesman Alan Seay said the court had rejected consent.

The company was disappointed by the decision and it would be assessing the decision in detail to consider its potential responses.

The 630MW windfarm was planned to be big enough to power every home in the South Island. The first stage would produce about 150MW, with Meridian building more turbines as demand increased.

However, the project was opposed by local residents, who wanted to protect the tussock-clad ranges from 160m-high turbines and 12m-wide access roads.

Several high-profile New Zealanders, including All Black Anton Oliver, artist Grahame Sydney and poet Brian Turner, also spoke out against the proposed windfarm.

The only thing that can get me to break my No-vember rule ... is really good news. And the really good news is that the Environmental Court (NZ) has ruled AGAINST the Meridian Wind-Power Project Hayes going ahead.
This is a HUGE victory for the little people of Central Otago and surrounds. We aren't against wind-farm energy, but reason that pristine, attractive land needn't be spoilt for it to happen.
Kudos to poets Richard Reeve, Cilla McQueen, David Karena-Holmes and Brian Turner, artists Grahame Sydney and Marilyn Webb, rugby player Anton Oliver and many, many more who spoke up against this potential travesty.
(Now we hope for similar news re TrustPower's proposed Mahinerangi Project, an equally brutal proposal for Otago's landscape.)

Here is a poem I wrote in protest to these proposed wind farms. It was published in the 'Landfall' and is also in my second collection, 'made for weather'.

nothing to do with you

For a cup of coffee,
you would strike the heart

with an axe, mine stone
for its marrow.

what rolls on into sky. Screw

metal poles into quiet land,
warp and crush

its offer
of light and air.


For northern power,
on land nothing

to do with you,
you would trammel

quilted, southern ground, leave
a trail of stains,

thrust twisted crosses
into its soft belly.

Rocks the wind or sun
cannot move, sleep on.

they carry soft gold

we can hear for miles.

From somewhere,
a farmer

calls his dogs. Somewhere,
the blaring throats

of young bulls
we cannot see.

Under our feet the gravel
coughs. Fallen apples

form a wild carpet
below a crooked tree.

The mist freezes
where it wafts, solid

lace. Cold, bloodless
and beautiful. Still for days

on end, the sun a smear
across the sky’s white mouth.

Bulrushes stuck fast
in frozen ponds.

Willows and poplars
as wan as horse-hair.

In summer, the grasshopper
screams. In summer

the road floats
grey. Purple lupins

and orange poppies
dribble paint.

When we stop the car
we hear overhead

a pair of paradise ducks,
their alternating cries

the unfenced sound
of a mountain tarn.

Seized by the autumn sun,
valleys do not resist

the line and fall
of riverbeds and trees.

“We call this
our golden season.”

She speaks among art-deco

“Here, we don’t get that fog
they get down river.”

And as the railway station’s
useless clouded window

veils the sky‘s
cruel blue,

she talks of a small town now gone,
and the shop she ran for years.

On land nothing
to do with you, somewhere

the sound of a tiny bird.
Somewhere, lovely light,

the sound of nothing, of no-one,
of the air.


Kay McKenzie Cooke

And another poem, below, published in the Otago Daily Times as one of the 'Monday's Poem' choices.

imagined reply

If you say but
they are beautiful
too, he will tell you, yes,
in isolation,
somewhere not pristine,
there is an eeriness,
an artful symmetry like a star
or the centre of an orange.
But here, where wind forms
waves over tussock, how
it chills him, the thought
of these seedless lilies
they say will pit
his falcon-feathered hills.
These aberrations
that stalk and mar
his valleys and till their wind
for power. These bastards,
these pale mills, for as long
as it takes to halt
their wrongly-placed
sway over land
not meant for such rude
points he will tilt at them.
Even cancer cells, he says,
can look beautiful.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Sunday, 1 November 2009

No - vember.

I am going to participate in NaNoWriMo (which is National - altho' it's actually international - Novel Writing Month), so will be taking a rest from blogging and reading blogs for the next month (although I may be sneak in for a catch-up read occasionally.) I am not going to write a novel in a month - it will be more like a rough draft and a whole lot of rubbish! (50,000 words worth.)
I will be on Twitter though, so watch the sidebar for any updates there. In fact, why not join in? Discussions and comments range from the sublime to the welcome relief of the ridiculous. I'm finding it a lot of fun. And then there's Facebook ... I'll see some of you there too.

Clocking Out

 I have been neglecting this blog for some months. I think perhaps I should face facts and accept that it is indeed time to retire this blog...