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Electricity Industry Referendum

Electricity Industry Referendum

Chair of the Electricity Governance Establishment Committee, David Caygill, announced today that a referendum on industry governance arrangements will be held during April and May 2003.

The referendum commenced today with ballot papers sent out to industry participants and representative consumer groups. Ballot papers will need to be returned by 14 May and the Committee will meet on 16 May to consider the results.

The referendum is intended to gauge the level of support for an integrated set of self-regulatory arrangements proposed for the electricity sector. The electricity industry has been working towards these new arrangements since the government released a Policy Statement in December 2000. The arrangements were authorised by the Commerce Commission in September 2002.

"Industry participants and consumer representatives have devoted considerable effort over more than two years towards developing a set of arrangements to govern the wholesale market, retail market, transmission and grid security issues," said Mr Caygill.

"If the referendum demonstrates substantial majority support for the proposals we will proceed quickly to elect an independent Electricity Governance Board. Otherwise the government has indicated that it will consider using the power to appoint its own governance board," he said.

"The Electricity Governance Board will have a key role in overseeing the development of the new arrangements to better meet the needs of industry participants and government policy," said Mr Caygill.

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