INDEPENDENT NEWS

Too little, way too late with energy crisis

Published: Mon 24 Mar 2003 05:25 PM
Too little, way too late to save us from energy crisis
The Government's eleventh hour decision to discuss 'significant change' in the energy sector has come too late to save New Zealanders from the looming electricity crisis this winter and beyond.
"The National Party welcomes the fact that Helen Clark is now taking our energy needs seriously, it's a pity her Energy Minister didn't push the issue harder when he could have made a difference some months ago," says National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee.
"For a Labour Government their answer is bound to be predictable - a return to the bad old days of price fixing and state-control.
"The Prime Minister's blamed the crisis on a series of events, but I believe she left out one critical reason - mismanagement by a lethargic Energy Minister.
"It's telling that Helen Clark's now poised to take the job of fixing the situation out of Pete Hodgson's hands, just like she did with George Hawkins when he failed to address the leaky homes scandal," says Mr Brownlee.
"The National Party wants to know how long this review process will take and how it will solve our immediate electricity price spikes?
"The Government has also accepted that there's a shadow hanging over New Zealand's long term generation capacity, so where does its stated goal of renewable sustainable electricity fit with that challenge?
"It's clear that wind farms and solar power aren't going to solve our problems, either in the short term or the long term," Mr Brownlee says.
"New Zealand is not a third world country and we all should be able to turn on the switch and expect to have power on demand.
"This Government's posturing means that may not be the case this winter," says Mr Brownlee.

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