Tairāwhiti’s First Solar Farm – Te Ihi o te Ra

Client Name
Eastland Generation
Gisborne, New Zealand
  • Planning
  • Ecology
  • Land quality & remediation
  • Landscape Architecture


Tairāwhiti’s first solar farm at 5.2MW comprises nearly 8,000 solar panels, covering 6.3 hectares of land at Gisborne Airport. The solar farm will generate enough renewable electricity each year to power the equivalent of 1,100 typical local homes. A battery storage system also provides for approximately 2MWh of storage.


4Sight (now part of SLR) were involved in the development work for the resource consent, providing expertise in Planning, Ecology, Contaminated Land and Landscape Architecture. Our teams provided the following services:

  • Planning advice, for the feasibility of the project and managing the resource consent;
  • Ecological site survey and restoration of the Waikanae Stream;
  • Land contamination analysis, for the contamination of the site, including vigorous investigation due to the site previously been used as a rubbish dump; and
  • Landscape imagery, to show the visual impact of the proposed scheme.

The solar farm gained resource consent in December 2021
following robust multidisciplinary pre-lodgment feasibility and investigation workstreams. The pre-application foundation work identified site specific risks and benefits which resulted in an efficient consenting process (consent gained in only 20 working days).


The project supports New Zealand’s commitment to 100% renewable electricity generation by 2035. Our teams are proud to have worked towards achieving positive environmental outcomes, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the generation of electricity and rehabilitating the water quality of the Waikanae Stream renewable energy projects.

"A big thank you from the Eastland Group to the Gisborne District Council and 4Sight (now part of SLR) teams for getting this consent request processed and approved so quickly. Well done! What an excellent early Xmas present. We are looking forward to progressing this project further in 2022... Thanks once again."

Steven Follows, General Manager Energy Solutions, Eastland Group