Together with Porirua, we plan to develop a recreation area for Spicer Forest
The closure is part of the wind farm consent conditions, which require all construction vehicles to access the site through the forest.
The closure of Spicer Forest began yesterday. Meridian is now harvesting about two hectares of pine trees to develop an access route from Porirua to Ohariu Valley Road so its vehicles can access the wind farm site. This closure will not affect Te Araroa national walkway (the tramping route from Cape Reinga to Bluff).
The section of Te Araroa walkway that runs through the forest has been relocated so it can remain open to the public during construction. Meridian Energy has worked with joint forest owners, Wellington and Porirua City Councils, on the closure.
The City Council's Community Engagement and Reserves Manager, Amber Bill, says the forest is closed as a safety precaution.
"The alternative Te Araroa walkway route is well away from the construction access route, so those who use the walkway can do so as safely as possible. You can get to the walkway from Ohariu Valley Road or from the existing Colonial Knob walkway from Porirua."
The Mill Creek wind farm, between Ohariu Valley and Wellington's west coast, will take 30 months to build and will generate enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 30,000 average New Zealand homes.
In conjunction with Porirua City Council, we intend to turn the forest into a recreation area after the wind farm is completed.