INDEPENDENT NEWS

Energy Minister should come clean

Published: Tue 24 Sep 2002 11:18 AM
Gerry Brownlee
National Energy Spokesperson
24th September 2002
Energy Minister should come clean
The Energy Minister needs to set a deadline for key industry players to agree to new rules from the Commerce Commission, says National's Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee.
"With the new rules for the trading and transmission of electricity expected in a few weeks, the Minister needs to spell out clearly what he will do if agreement can't be reached.
"In a process characterised by delays it is time for the Minister to stop dallying and make it clear to all players that security of supply is essential if the New Zealand economy is to have any chance of higher growth.
"The rules are desperately needed to avoid the sort of debacle talked of this week by David Kirk, CEO of Norske Skog, who paid over $4 million for several days supply at a peak demand time last year.
"The Minister should also talk to his State Owned Enterprises colleague Mark Burton and together make it clear to state-owned generators and Transpower that they should not be preventing an early agreement to the proposed rules.
"Since the state-owned generators produce 80% of New Zealand's electricity and own 80% of the retail base they have a particular duty to make the system work," said Mr Brownlee.
Ends

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