Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Power Phone Line Disconnected

Hon Phillida Bunkle
Minister of Consumer Affairs

Media release
11 March 2000

Power Phone Line Disconnected

The Minister of Consumer Affairs Phillida Bunkle has expressed concerns at what she described as "serious consumer issues" raised by callers to the free-phone Power Line service.

The special 0800 service was launched by the Minister last month to give power users a chance to tell their own stories of dealing with electricity companies. Anecdotal evidence from the phone line has confirmed the Minister's suspicion that people have been disadvantaged by mad electricity reforms under former Energy Minister Max Bradford.

"When the phone lines closed on Friday afternoon, almost 2000 customers had registered calls. The majority of these were complaints and many revealed real stories of hardship," the Hon Phillida Bunkle said.

"Electricity consumers have left a loud and clear message that they are unhappy with power companies.

"Each call has been invaluable in putting together information that will be presented to the Government's Electricity Inquiry," Ms Bunkle said.

"While we can not pre-empt the results of the Inquiry, the phone-line has been a vital part of understanding the affects reforms have had on consumers."

"There have been stories of people waiting up to eight months for power bills, unreasonably rigid payment options, concerns over pricing, poor relations between customers and power companies, wrongful disconnections – for which customers were then charged - and hard-lined disconnection policies when customers were making genuine efforts to pay their bills.

"I am also concerned at what appears to be anti-competitive behaviour among some power companies."

The Minister said consumer concerns would be represented in the Ministry's submission to the Inquiry.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral meeting in Singapore with New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting – which usually involves just an exchange of smiles and pleasantries before the media is sent out of the room – to launch into matters of genuine substance.

By doing so, Mahathir usefully exposed how New Zealand is trying to make a virtue out of sitting on the fence over the South China Sea dispute. More>>


14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>


Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>


Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>


Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>


Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>


Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>


"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>





InfoPages News Channels