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Electricity shortages last thing business needs

Media release

Newmarket Business Association

Sunday - 6 November 2005


Electricity shortages the last thing business needs

Warnings from Transpower that there could be electricity shortages in Auckland by next winter is the last thing local businesses need, according to the country’s leading retail and commercial district.

“Business confidence is at rock-bottom, consumer spending is waning, interest rates are going up, economic growth is slowing, and now Auckland businesses face another potentially crippling blow,” said Cameron Brewer, head of the Newmarket Business Association.

National grid company, Transpower, has long argued that a 220 kv line through metropolitan Auckland from Otahuhu to Henderson badly needs upgrading. Manukau and Waitakere city councils have given their approval but Transpower CEO Ralph Craven says the Auckland City Council has now delayed the upgrade for two years.

“Businesses and residents alike deserve to know why the Auckland City Council is blocking this urgently needed infrastructural upgrade. 2006 is looking bleak enough without adding electricity shortages to the mix.”

Mr Brewer said memories of the 1998 Auckland power crisis are still vivid. The five-week blackouts cost the country at least $600 million and retailers an estimated $10 million a day.

“While the potential implications aren’t as severe as 1998, Transpower is none the less now warning of cold showers and electricity cuts by next winter.”

“Auckland City Council says it wants to work closer with its neighbouring cities. Well, guaranteeing the region a constant supply of electricity would be a good start.”

“Auckland businesses need electricity shortages like a hole in the head. The business community eagerly awaits action from the Auckland City Council to avoid such a costly and unneccessary situation,” said Mr Brewer.

ENDS

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