INDEPENDENT NEWS

New Zealand First Cannot Support Electricity Bill

Published: Thu 26 Jul 2001 05:48 PM
Media Release
New Zealand First Cannot Support Electricity Bill
New Zealand First Energy Spokesman Peter Brown has criticised the proposed Electricity reforms currently being debated and has said that New Zealand First will not be supporting them.
Parliament is debating the Electricity Industry Bill under the name of Pete Hodgson.
“ We are opposed to this Bill. It will do absolutely nothing to eleviate the current power crisis, and will do absolutely nothing to lower electricity prices for either consumers or business,” said Mr. Brown.
“The Bill is full of rhetoric and short on substance and common sense—the Government is barking at the moon with these so-called reforms. Sadly electricity companies will still be able to continue to price-gouge New Zealand.
“We believe that there should be action taken immediately to cap the price of wholesale electricity prices, offer incentives for domestic customers to save electricity and begin a formal inquiry into the industry. In addition all lines companies should be regulated and their OD values thoroughly examined.
“The need for an inquiry is urgent. The minister has done little other than criticising the former minister over the past 20 months and has accomplished nothing himself. The tactic that the Minister has taken of blaming everything on Max Bradford has long since worn thin. In the meantime the water levels continue to drop and time is running out.
“The entire electricity industry is in turmoil, companies will now not take on new customers because they will actually lose money for doing so, whilst retailers are disposing of their customer base and leaving the industry. If this state of affairs continues electricity will become a luxury item and drive businesses to the wall, and consumers up it.
“The Minister’s only apparent action has been to appoint David Caygill firstly to the Electricity Review Team and now to the Governance Board. Mr Caygill has a long history of not working in the interests of the public,” concluded Mr Brown.
ENDS

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