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A Timid Response So Far Minister - Now Regulate

Media Release

21 June 2001

Electricity Price Increases - A Timid Response So Far Minister - Now Regulate - Peters

New Zealand First Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters, today expressed his disappointment at the “timid approach shown by the Minister of Energy Hon Pete Hodgson, towards protecting electricity consumers from the fleecing they are taking from the electricity supply companies”.

Mr Peters went on to suggest that “power reforms that separated electricity generators, line distribution companies, and power retailers was intended to reduce power prices but was dependent upon the Minister’s willingness to regulate”.

“This whole nonsense has been a disaster for consumers from its very beginning”, said Mr Peters, “and I cannot find one individual amongst my constituents who has a good word to say about the game which is now being played out on them.

Domestic home users, small businesses and even larger scale industries, are suffering through the uncertainties created, the incessant increases and general dissatisfaction with the whole process,” he said.

“But most of all, people are asking me, where is Mr Hodgson, that champion of the people who whilst in opposition opposed the breakup of the electricity industry, spoke up for reduced power charges, railed against energy price increases but has now become the silent lackey of the new power moguls now that he is in Government.

“The only answer to the mess he has now got himself into, and each of us as power consumers, is to regulate the electricity industry as it has demonstrated itself unable to act with maturity, and in any event, this is a step long advocated by the Minister himself when in opposition,” concluded Mr Peters.


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