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Makara residents fuming over noisy wind farm

Tuesday 4 Aug 2009 7:45 p.m.

West Wind, Meridian's wind farm near Wellington, was opened by the Prime Minister in April. Since then, the company's been dealing with complaints from people living in the Makara Valley.

Neighbours of the wind farm say they were told by Meridian that they wouldn't hear the turbines, but the locals say they hear them most days and most nights and it's constant torture.

Joiner Hans Renner says the turbines are severely affecting his sleep.

"I work with machinery and it's only a matter of time before I cut a finger off because I'm so tired.," Mr Renner says.

His wife Ingrid has trouble sleeping too. She gets up and writes in a log when she hears any turbine noise.

As a condition of its consent, Meridian has to comply with noise standards. And parts of the larger picture are factors like background noise and wind speed - a mind boggling amount of conditions.

Makara resident Maryanne Gill saved for 25 years to buy land to build the family's dream home. She says that she believed Meridian's assurances the turbines would have minimal impact and is upset with all the noise.

One resident has now spent $15,000 double glazing his windows, while others are now simply moving out to escape the noise.

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