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Where's Max?

The National Party is hopelessly confused about regulation of the electricity industry, says Energy Minister Pete Hodgson.

"This Government has taken on the task of mopping up after Max Bradford's massively heavy-handed intervention in the industry in 1998," Mr Hodgson said. "We have a comprehensive policy package to address the consumer and environmental issues he left behind.

"The juvenile foot-stamping of the National and Act members of the Commerce
Committee, who have blocked the committee's report on the Electricity Industry Bill, will achieve precisely nothing. The Bill will be passed, with improvements reflecting the submission process.

"Tony Ryall's hollow chest-beating about fighting the Bill in the House is political posturing of the worst sort. Select committees provide the Opposition with its best opportunity to influence the substance of legislation and National has given that away in the attempt to score a cheap political point. Mr Ryall's pose looks especially ridiculous to those who know of his minimal contribution to the Commerce Committee's work on the Bill.

"Where is the National Party's policy on the electricity industry? Is it claiming that Max Bradford's changes were such a success that nothing more must be done? And where is Max these days when electricity is mentioned?

"I challenge the National Party to tell New Zealanders what it would do to clean up after itself in the electricity industry. I will gladly debate this Bill toe-to-toe with the only National politician who matters on this issue.

"Where's Max?"

Ends

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