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Energy Minister must explain lack of action

Energy Minister must explain lack of action over possibility of power shortage


Pansy Wong National Energy Spokesperson

Tuesday 5 September 2000

Energy Minister must explain lack of action over possibility of power shortage

The Energy Minister must explain to Aucklanders why he is only now taking a public interest in the possibility of a power crisis when he's known about it for two months, National's Energy spokesperson Pansy Wong said today.

"Concerns about a potential power crisis were first raised in July - and all Pete Hodgson has done is sit on his hands.

"The Minister stated in the House this afternoon that there are many tools available to avert a possible power crisis - thanks to the electricity reforms.

"Despite reluctance from the Energy Minister and the Ministry to address the possible shortage, the electricity reforms have helped make information about power supplies more transparent and available to Government and the public.

"But these improvements are worthless if the Minister does nothing.

"The 1992 Electricity Shortage Review Committee found that the impact was compounded by the then ECNZ's failure to advise the market and the public of low hydro-storage and the absence of necessary pricing signals to mitigate the impact.

"That has all changed now.

"The Minister of Auckland issues Judith Tizard should also obtain a proper briefing from the Energy Minister before blaming the problems on the split up of ECNZ and separation of line and retail electricity operations.

"If it was such a big problem then why didn't the Government include electricity generators in the electricity inquiry terms of reference. The inquiry's objective was to 'ensure electricity is delivered in an efficient, reliable and environmentally efficient manner. The inquiry report also did not find any reason to reverse the split between distribution and supply.

"Before Judith Tizard makes any more statements on this subject she'd be advised to do her homework."

Ends

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