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AIAL applies for exemption under EIR Act

AIAL applies for exemption under EIR Act

The Commerce Commission has received an application from Auckland International Airport Limited (AIAL) for an exemption under the Electricity Industry Reform Act 1998 (EIR Act) in relation to the appointment of Dr Keith Turner, Meridian Energy Limited’s Chief Executive, to the AIAL Board.

AIAL seeks an exemption from s 17 of the EIR Act which prohibits such cross-involvement. The EIR Act would deem Dr Turner to have material influence over Meridian’s electricity supply business and AIAL’s electricity lines business (in respect of its internal network).

The purpose of the EIR Act is to reform the electricity industry to better ensure that costs and prices in the electricity industry are subject to sustained downward pressure and the benefits of efficient electricity pricing flow through to all classes of consumers, by effectively separating electricity distribution from generation and retail and promoting effective competition in electricity generation and retail markets.

The Commission may grant an exemption in respect of a business or involvement or interest, only where doing so: would not result in certain involvements in electricity lines businesses and electricity supply businesses which may create incentives or opportunities: to inhibit competition in the electricity industry; or to cross-subsidise generation activities from electricity lines businesses; and would not result in relationships between electricity lines businesses and electricity supply businesses which are not at arms length. For further information on the Commission’s role within the EIR Act, visit the Commission’s website, http://www.comcom.govt.nz/acts/eiract/.

A public version of the application will shortly be available on the Commission’s website, http://www.comcom.govt.nz/adjudication/s81.cfm.

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