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Delay on Transpower decision petty

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Delay on Transpower decision petty

The Electricity Commission yesterday made a decision on Transpower's proposed 400 high voltage link across the Waikato but won't tell anyone what it is until April 27th.

"This is just petty," said Alasdair Thompson, chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern).

"The respective responsibilities of the Electricity Commission, the Commerce Commission and Transpower are hopelessly confused.

"It's in the public interest to know now what the Electricity Commission's decision is on the Transpower project.

"The process adopted by the Electricity Commission is accentuating uncertainty for business.

"We understand the Electricity Commission has rejected the Transpower plan - if so, business needs to know what led to the decision, and what alternative action is proposed.

"Time is not on our side - to avoid brown outs or worse in Auckland in the next two to three years a robust power transmission system into Auckland is essential. Otherwise the price of power in the north will not remain comparable with elsewhere in the country at times of peak demand.

"Government must step in immediately and sort out this mess of its own making.

"The Minister of Energy will be held responsible in person for any
shortfall in power supply performance if the Electricity Commission makes the wrong decisions, because it is directly accountable to the Minister, not Parliament, for rulings of this sort."

ENDS


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