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Electricity Industry Bill Report

National Dishonours Parliament On Electricity Industry Bill Report

“National and Act have dishonoured parliament by blocking the report to the House of the Electricity Industry Bill and commentary” Titirangi MP, David Cunliffe, said today.

The Bill was discharged unamended by the Select Committee on its due date of 28 May. The future of the Bill is now in the hands of the Minister of Energy.

“Opposition members supported unanimous resolutions of the committee to call for a report and commentary. They negotiated a draft text line-by-line, but at the last minute voted against reporting back the text to the House” David Cunliffe said. “Hon Tony Ryall’s frequent absences from consideration of this Bill at the select committee indicates this was a long-planned tactic. Unfortunately it is one which has demeaned our MMP parliament as a whole”, Mr Cunliffe said.

“The public hoped MMP would encourage more consensual politics. National and Act’s petulant tactics on this Bill are therefore, an unfortunate development – a practice never used by Labour as an MMP Opposition for good reason – it wastes the time of both parliament and submitters.

“The Select Committee’s work was important in proposing amendments that, in my view, successfully addressed the main concerns about the draft Bill. All of the recommendations of the Regulations Review Committee on clarifying the scope of the regulatory powers of the Bill were picked up by the Committee. The concerns of land owners regarding land access by lines companies were addressed by rewriting relevant clauses. The reserve powers of the EGB were more clearly specified and circumscribed”, David Cunliffe said.

The proposed amendments show it is possible to combine successfully industry self-regulation with a credible, fair, reserve regulatory backstop”, David Cunliffe said.

“I would like to express by sincere personal thanks to all of the submitters, advisors, and staff who worked very hard on this Bill”, David Cunliffe said.

Ends

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