Opportunities and barriers to, and benefits and impacts from, papakāinga owned energy systems : a case study of Parihaka : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Environmental Management at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
The development of an onsite renewable energy system is seen as key to developing the community of Parihaka and sustaining the expected population increase. This research has assessed the potential options for such a system and the potential opportunities, barriers, impacts and benefits that could come as a result. It was evident from the very first community consultation that one of the most important aspects of this system would be the ownership model, with hui and workshop attendees strongly favouring a community-owned system and this was further emphasised in survey responses. Interestingly, however, the interviews told a different story with a concern over a lack of social cohesion and an imbalance of work ethic leading to a preference for a joint ownership model.
For the most part, the data collection phase verified much of the literature review in that Parihaka community views reflected research to date. Examples include high levels of project support when community involvement and consultation throughout the planning phase is present, expected local employment gains and a preference for at least a joint community ownership stake in the project. However, while the survey and interview respondents felt that social barriers would pose the greatest issues the literature review noted that institutional barriers could very well pose much greater difficulties.
Visual impact on the landscape from wind turbines is a major source of opposition and residents and people living in the vicinity have the right to disapprove of the aesthetics of a wind turbine. Similar opposition to the use of other RE resources can greatly impede on successful implementation levels. However, the perceived negative impacts of these RE technologies must be assessed with consideration to the fossil fuel equivalents in order to get a clearer picture.
Further research opportunities exist for assessing the next stages of the planning phase, with specific regards to papakāinga land, including the preparation of a resource consent application and the legalities and considerations that must be addressed in order to increase the chances of success. Research into the specifics of the desired ownership model is also recommended, in addition to considering the ongoing community commitments needed to maintain the system.