Minister announces inquiry board members

  • Pete Hodgson
Cabinet Minister

Minister Pete Hodgson, acting for the Minister for the Environment, today announced the members of a Board of Inquiry to consider Transpower’s proposal for a new electricity transmission line in the upper North Island.
“In selecting candidates for the Board I have considered the nature of the inquiry and issues that may be raised by the proposal. The chair will be Judge David Sheppard. He is a former Principal Environment Judge and his experience in Resource Management Act (RMA) decision-making will be invaluable. The other Board members will be Kevin Prime, Dr Deborah Read and John Rutherford,” said Pete Hodgson.
The members of the Board will bring a combination of skills, expertise and background that are needed for the inquiry, said Pete Hodgson.
The role of the Board is to consider submissions on Transpower’s proposal, to hold public hearings and to make a final decision. Transpower’s proposal is to build a new overhead electricity transmission line, underground cables and substations, from Whakamaru to Otahuhu and Pakuranga.
“I am pleased to have people of such a high calibre on the Board and I wish them well with their inquiry,” said Pete Hodgson.

Biographical information:
Judge David Sheppard has taken part in numerous significant RMA decisions, and chaired the Waitaki Catchment Water Allocation Board.
Judge Sheppard was appointed Principal Planning Judge in 1987 and this position became the Principal Environment Judge in 1996. He retired in March 2001 and is now an Alternate Environment Judge.

Kevin Prime is an Environment Commissioner and is experienced in RMA decision making. As is a farmer and forester he has a good understanding of the rural sector. Kevin’s tribal associations are with Ngati Hine and he has a strong understanding of tikanga Maori.
Kevin Prime has also worked on nature conservation projects. He has been appointed to several Government reference and advisory groups such as the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Biodiversity in 1999.
Kevin Prime is Deputy Chair of Ngai Whenua Rahui. Kevin Prime is also a trustee of the ASB Community Trust and Secretary of Waimahae Marae Trustees.

Dr Deborah Read is a public health medicine consultant and is qualified in the area of public and environmental health and health risk assessment. Dr Read is currently working part time as a Medical Officer of Health for the Hutt Valley District Board and as a public health medicine consultant. She has been Deputy Chair of the Medical Council since 2002, and a member of the Environmental Risk Management Authority since 2006. Dr Read is also Chair of the Ministry of Health’s Organochlorines Technical Advisory Group.

John Rutherford is an electrical engineer with over 30 years experience in the electricity industry. He brings a sound understanding of the energy sector to the Board. John Rutherford is a consultant with East Harbour Management Services which provides advice to a range of organisations in the energy sector including government.