One of those leading the fight against a proposed carp farm in Taupo is delighted by news the controversial farm is not expected to proceed.
Contact Energy, who signed an agreement with Golden Harvest Aquaculture to lease land and provide geothermal heat for the carp venture, announced today it will not extend deadlines in those commercial agreements and therefore believes the proposed Taupo carp farm will not proceed.
"Having carefully considered the feedback from the community, local and national authorities, iwi, hapu and business partners, we have decided not to extend our commercial agreement with Golden Harvest Aquaculture beyond a shortly-approaching deadline, where the venture is required to have all necessary approvals and permits," said Mike Dunstall, Contact's Wairakei-based general manager of geothermal resources and development.
"This decision has been a difficult one for Contact. As with any commercial venture, we always aim to balance and respect the interests of our communities, support our business partners, operate in a sustainable manner, and maximise the value and use of the resources that we manage.
"Contact saw merit in exploring the carp farm project due to the promised creation of around 20 jobs, the new economic activity for the region and improved efficiency of use of geothermal energy.
"However, as a sustainable and responsible company we know the importance of robust and open debates on issues. It's clear to us, based on the concerns raised about the carp farm, that there's still a way to go to resolve questions about any proposed aquaculture ventures in the region."
Dave 'Didimo Dave" Cade, who was one of those leading the fight against the controversial farm, said he was "absolutely delighted" with the announcement.
"We're happy that Contact Energy have looked at the issue and listened to the local community," he said.
"Common sense has prevailed in that while we welcome business to Taupo we want business that will not risk the environment."
About 150 people had attended a public meeting in Taupo this week, with the majority fiercely opposing the idea for the grass and silver carp farm.
There has been strong opposition from fishing groups who say a carp escape could ruin Lake Taupo within a generation.
Richard Clark of Golden Harvest Aquaculture could not be contacted for comment today.