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Open Letter to Labour, Greens: Please Withdraw Your Policy

Media release
2 May 2013

Open Letter to Labour, Greens: Please Withdraw Your Policy

A group of leading business organisations has sent an open letter to the Labour and Green parties (attached) urging them to withdraw their electricity policy.

BusinessNZ, EMA, the Chambers of Commerce and others say the policy would harm jobs, growth and investment, causing interest rates to rise, reducing KiwiSaver retirement savings and making people less well off.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says it is unusual for business to seek the withdrawal of party policies, but this particular policy if implemented would cause widespread damage.  

“Subsidies and state control are not the right answers to the issue of electricity pricing.  While sounding superficially attractive, such policies would in practice destroy investment and jobs.”

The signatories to the letter offer to work with the Labour and Green parties to help increase public understanding of the operation of the electricity market and in ensuring consumers have better choice as the electricity market becomes more competitive.

“More price competition - rather than damaging price controls – is needed to drive down electricity prices,” Mr O’Reilly said. 

Signatories to the letter are:

Phil O’Reilly Chief Executive BusinessNZ
Ken Shirley Chief Executive Road Transport Forum
Catherine Beard Executive Director Manufacturing NZ
Ralph Matthes Executive Director Major Electricity Users Group
Chris Baker Chief Executive Straterra
John Scandrett Chief Executive Otago Southland Employers’ Association
Raewyn Bleakley Chief Executive Business Central
Kim Campbell Chief Executive EMA
Peter Townsend Chief Executive Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce
Michael Barnett Director New Zealand Chambers of Commerce.

  Open_Letter_to_Labour__the_Greens.pdf ENDS

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