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Exemption Sought From Commerce Commission

Exemption Sought From Commerce Commission

The Commerce Commission has received an application from Stephen Reindler, seeking exemption from section 17 of the Electricity Industry Reform Act 1998 (EIR Act) to allow Mr Reindler to take up a position as a director on the board of Meridian Energy Limited.

Currently, Mr Reindler is the General Manager Engineering at Auckland International Airport Limited (AIAL).

AIAL owns and operates the Auckland airport, which includes an electricity lines business. The company is listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and the Australian Stock Exchange and has a diverse shareholder base. AIAL owns a distribution network at the airport and distributes electricity to over 300 customers at the airport.

Meridian is an electricity generator and retailer. It was formed as a result of the division of Electricity Corporation of New Zealand into three separate companies in April 1999 and is a State-Owned Enterprise.

Section 17 of the EIR Act prohibits the cross-involvement of electricity lines and supply companies.

Background
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;
 to ensure the benefits of efficient electricity pricing flow through to all classes of consumers; and
 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 only where doing so:
a. would not result in certain involvements in electricity lines businesses and electricity supply businesses which may create incentives or opportunities:
i. to inhibit competition in the electricity industry; or
ii. to cross-subsidise generation activities from electricity lines businesses; and
b. 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, www.comcom.govt.nz/ under Industry Regulation/Electricity/Electricity Industry Reform Act.

A public version of the application is available on the Commission's website, www.comcom.govt.nz under Public Registers/Electricity Industry Reform Act Exemptions.

ends


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