What is an Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE)?
An Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) is a report that must be provided as part of every resource consent application. It details all the possible effects on the environment including effects on ecosystems, natural resources (land, air and water), buildings and people. The Fourth Schedule of the Resource Management Act lists essential matters that should be included in an AEE, and outlines the types of issues that the AEE should address.

You can usually read a copy of the AEE for any locally proposed wind farms in your local council office. It can be very long and is not always written with a layperson in mind. There should also be a summary of the AEE's main findings available, either as part of the main AEE document or separately. This is called a "non-technical summary" and can usually be obtained from the developers directly (free of charge) or will be on the developers' web site.
The AEE can be an extremely useful tool when writing letters to planners and/or to the media, as it will normally address issues of concern for opponents of the wind farm. Reading the summary, or relevant sections of the full document, can mean that you able to speak with confidence when defending particular wind farm proposals.

For more information see: Ministry of the Environment, "How do I prepare an Assessment of Environmental Effects?"

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