"Working together" is the key message when it comes to a new geothermal powerstation being built in Tauhara.
Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited the site to mark the start of construction of the $580 million facility, at the foot of Mount Tauhara, which is a collaboration between Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Contact Energy.
Contact Energy chief executive officer Mike Fuge described Tauhara as "New Zealand's best low-carbon renewable electricity opportunity".
It would operate 24/7, 365 days a year and would not rely on the wind blowing or the sun shining to generate power, he said.
"This project is simply the best, not only in New Zealand but the world," he said.
"When it is completed in the middle of 2023, it will generate enough electricity to power over 175,000 homes and it will continue to do so after most of us in this room have left this earth for our mokopuna and tamariki.
"Geothermal generation is renewable and low emission. It is ideal for displacing generation from fossil fuels."
Ardern said the powerstation would play an important role in helping New Zealand meet the Government's carbon emission goals.
"The significance of this project is enormous.
"Here we'll see roughly the equivalent of 200,000 cars worth of emissions removed through this project alone. This helps us get closer to that 100 per cent renewable electricity goal that we have as a country."
Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said having renewable thermal power such as this produced was something "most countries around the world would give anything to have".
"We have an abundance of resource in New Zealand.
"Not only do we have wind and solar, but we have thermal generation which is such an important part of our pathway to getting to 100 per cent renewable. This is exactly the kind of momentum we need to get us towards our goals."
Contact Energy chairman Rob McDonald said the company appreciated being able to work so closely with Ngāti Tūwharetoa and would continue to do so.
"This is another big day in the life of this complex, exciting and important project.
"We are working on a range of initiatives to strengthen our relationship with hapu and iwi who have a deep connection to the resource, the mountain and the land in this area.
"We are listening. We are committed to accelerating the decarbonisation of the New Zealand economy and we intend to play a leading role in that transition."
He said the project would benefit the Taupō economy with an estimated $175 million worth of economic activity generated by the development of the powerstation.
Ardern, Woods and representatives of both Contact Energy and Ngāti Tūwharetoa planted totara trees at the site to mark the connection between the people and the land involved in the project.
Construction of the powerstation is under way and expected to be fully completed in 2023.
What is geothermal power?
Geothermal power stations use naturally occurring geothermal activity to produce power which fuel our homes and businesses.
Fluid from natural geothermal systems is brought to the surface by wells that typically vary in depth from 1000 to 3000 metres.
At the surface, this fluid is separated into steam and water. The steam is used in a turbine to generate electricity and the hot geothermal water is then injected back into the ground.