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Trust Cos Welcome Electricity Regime Opportunities


Energy Trusts of New Zealand Inc.

Trust Owned Network Companies Welcome New Electricity Regime Opportunities

Wellington (May 20, 2003) - "Allowing trust owned lines companies to own reserve generation is an excellent step forward which will help bring a sense of "public good" back into the electricity system," said Ken Gilligan, chair of Energy Trusts of New Zealand. Mr Gilligan was commenting on the electricity system changes announcement today by Energy Minister Pete Hodgson.

"The structural changes including the establishment of an Electricity Commission and the requirement for a 1 in 60 dry year reserve are welcome. But ETNZ is particularly pleased that our request for a law change to allow trusts to play a larger role in the provision of new generation will become a reality. This will help bring more community ownership and control back into the industry," said Mr Gilligan.

"Community owned energy trusts have investments of more than $4 billion in electricity networks and we want to be further involved so that the traditional common sense community control can be brought back into this essential industry," he said.

"While this is a positive first step, there needs to be further study on the future shape of the industry. Key stakeholders, including electricity trusts, need to be consulted and have input into the appointment of the commission."

ETNZ had called on Government to replace the proposed Electricity Governance Board that was dominated by state-owned generator retailers. The new Commission arrangements will ensure an improved standard for security of supply and will provide a mechanism to deal with the difficult problem of "who pays for new transmission lines".

ENDS

About the ETNZ

The Energy Trusts of New Zealand Inc (ETNZ) is an incorporated society of energy trusts, the majority of which hold shares in companies, which operate Electricity Networks (Lines Businesses). ETNZ has twenty-six member trusts. Most ETNZ member trusts hold shares in companies that acquired the assets of local community owned power companies, or Power Boards. Those shares are held on behalf of beneficiaries who are, in the main, local electricity consumers.


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