Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Supreme Court sides with ComCom in Vector stoush

Supreme Court sides with ComCom in Vector stoush

Nov 15 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland electricity and gas network owner Vector has lost its final appeal against the way the Commerce Commission set starting prices for the new regime regulating prices for its monopoly services.

But Vector will live to fight another day on more substantive issues being argued in a High Court merits review which has been running in parallel to the legal arguments over how the commission has applied its regulatory powers.

The commission welcomed the unanimous Supreme Court decision confirming it is not required to determine a methodology for the various inputs it uses to determine the starting prices for regulated prices of monopoly electricity and gas networks.

However, the court rejected the commission's earlier arguments that it could not have done so. Instead, it confirms the commission may choose to do so if it wishes, giving Vector a minor win in a long fought action that it has otherwise lost.

"It's a bit disappointing," Vector chief executive Simon Mackenzie told BusinessDesk. "We move on now to saying the starting price adjustment is part of the merits appeal process."

Hearings on the merits appeal, which involves other monopoly network providers including ports, airports and national grid operator Transpower, have been ongoing in recent weeks in the Wellington High Court, with decisions likely early next year.

"The materiality of the merits decision is the more substantive" for Vector, said Mackenzie. "If you see big adjustments (to starting prices), there must be big changes to the inputs that we need to understand.".

Commission chair Mark Berry said the Supreme Court ruling "finally allows the commission to complete aspects of the regulatory regime which will promote the certainty that the legislation anticipated" for both electricity distribution and gas pipeline businesses.

The final report on the reset of electricity default price-quality paths is scheduled for Nov. 30, with a final decision on the default price-quality path for gas pipeline businesses is scheduled for release in February.

Mackenzie said the appeals were an important part of bedding in a new process, but Berry said the delays caused by Vector's actions "had the effect of allowing some businesses to continue to charge their customers too much", while "some businesses which we believe should be able to charge more in order to invest in their networks have not been able to increase prices."

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news