These proceedings resulted from the need for the town of Pukekohe to have a secure power supply. The option chosen was to upgrade power lines supply in the town from 33 kilovolts to 110 kilovolts.
The existing 33 kilovolts lines traversed a number of properties. Counties Power had negotiated easements over some of those properties, and over other properties, it had negotiated permission to obtain access to the lines for upgrading work.
The objectors had not allowed such access and lodged objections with the court under section 23 (3) of the Public Works Act 1981.
Besides that, the court had to determine the duration of the easements. The objectors’ original contention was that the easements should have a finite life, of 50 years, and should come to an end at that time, whether or not the lines were still in use. Counties Power’s contention was that no duration for the easements should be specified. The easements were limited as to the type of line, and the capacity of the line. Thus, they would come to an end when a line coming within the terms of the easement ceased to be used for the purpose of supply to Pukekohe. That may be earlier, or later, than 50 years from now. No arbitrary limit should be imposed.
The court considered the adequacy of the consideration given to alternative routes and methods for achieving the objective and found the memoranda of consent filed by the parties were appropriate and that the easements should be granted for an unspecified term.
The memoranda of consent were found to be fair, sound and reasonably necessary for achieving the objectives of the minister and for granting the easements for an unspecified term.