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Power Package legislation to proceed

Monday, 28 May 2001 Media Statement
Embargoed until midnight tonight

Power Package legislation to proceed

Legislation to give effect to the Government's Power Package electricity industry policy will proceed, notwithstanding the discharge of the Electricity Industry Bill by Parliament's Commerce Committee, Energy Minister Pete Hodgson said today.

The Bill was due for report back to Parliament today but has not been tabled.

"What this means is that National and Act members of the committee have taken the petty, lazy, pointless and undemocratic decision to vote against any report back of the Bill," Mr Hodgson said.

The eight-member committee has four Opposition members, enabling the Opposition to tie votes.

"Blocking the report back of a select committee that has spent many weeks hearing submissions and working through possible amendments to a Bill is highly unusual, for good reason," Mr Hodgson said. "It is a waste of Parliamentary time and resources and an insult to all those who went to the trouble to make submissions. I have yet to find anybody who can remember such behaviour in the past."

"The Government will take close account of the work that was done in the committee to improve the Bill by making amendments in the House," Mr Hodgson said. "I am confident that despite the childish antics of National and Act we will end up passing a better Bill, addressing many of the issues raised with the committee."


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