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Commission building track record of errors

Friday, April 7, 2006

Commission building track record of errors

The Electricity Commission has been wrong twice lately and is about to announce the wrong decision again over the Waikato high voltage link, says Alasdair Thompson, chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern).

"The alarm is going off over the Commission's record for making mistakes," Mr Thompson said.

"The Commission was wrong not to sound the alert earlier over South Island lake levels. Major power users, and the generators Genesis, Meridian and Mighty River Power all expressed alarm about this weeks ago.

"Prior to that, the Commission's ruling on who should meet the costs of upgrades to the high voltage lines linking the South and North Islands was overturned by the High Court.

"The Commission is about to make a third mistake. It has decided to reject Transpower's high voltage transmission upgrade through the Waikato though it won't announce this until April 27th, a process which itself is a fumble.

"If the Transpower proposal were adopted, at worst it would deliver security of power supply in Auckland five years earlier.

"Under the weight of these poor decisions its no surprise business confidence in the Commission is flagging.

"The Commission is directly responsible to the Minister of Energy so he should advise whether power cuts are likely this winter.

"Since it was the minister last year who delayed the decision on Transpower's high voltage line until after the election, he should announce now what's going to happen to that too."


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