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Crest Energy - The Great Kaipara Harbour

On 3 February 2011 the Environment Court approved Crest Energy's proposal to establish 200 underwater turbines in the Kaipara Harbour.  The Minister of Conservation, Kate Wilkinson will receive the Court' recommendation soon.

As Chairperson, Mihi Watene has stated, “A project of this scale has never been undertaken before – in New Zealand or the world. Although we are pleased that the Court has placed additional restrictions on the project, we remain concerned that the conditions do not go far enough as we believe there are inherent risks in a project of this scale.”  

“We are concerned about effects on fisheries including snapper, and other marine life, such as maui dolphin. According to a study by NIWA, 98% of all North Island west coast juvenile snapper originate from the Kaipara Harbour, and we already know that the commercially important west coast snapper stock (SNA8) has only 8% of its original stock left”

We invite all guests of this website to view a special presentation about Kaipara Harbour by clicking here.

Te Uri o Hau will keep you updated on how this issue progresses so be sure to tune in to this website daily. 


Environs ask,"Why would you undertake such an experiment in the mouth of the Kaipara Harbour?"  A harbour that the Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group (IKHMG) Gap analysis shows is not in good health and is trying to restore its low levels of fish stocks and marine life.  This is not a question about Environs saying "not in my backyard" it is about the Kaipara Harbour ecology not being robust enough to absorb the risks associated with an experimental energy project.

Environs have continued to fight the Crest proposal since the Environment Court interim decision came out in December 2009.  Environs have;

  • Ensured it has participated in the "expert" caucusing around possible conditions if the project was to proceed and has contracted a marine scientist to represent Environs
  • Engaged alternative legal representation, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts who have specialist Resource Management Act capability
  • Actively engaged with Ngati Whatua and hapu surrounding the Southern Kaipara Harbour and as a result have received whanauu support in opposing the project
  • Communicated Te Uri o Hau' opposition to the Crest project to the United Nations appointed Special Rapportuer and followed this up with a formal letter
  • Seek support from Kaipara District Council
  • Held discussions with the mayor of Kaipara District Council and the Minister of Fisheries, Phil Heatley

Funds expended this year (since the restructuring in 2009) equates to approximately $50,000 and there will likely be further costs before the Judge and the Minister of Conservation releases the final decision.

How can you support the combat against Crest's marine turbines?  Tune into the TUOH website portal for further updates around positive actions for you, your household, neighborhood, community and marae or email us at or call us at the office 0800 438 894.