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Electricity Industry Bill amendments introduced

Monday, 9 July 2001 Media Statement

Electricity Industry Bill amendments introduced

Energy Minister Pete Hodgson has introduced to Parliament amendments to the Electricity Industry Bill 2000, which gives effect to the Government's electricity industry policy.

The Bill was discharged from the select committee on 28 May, following an unprecedented refusal by the committee's Opposition members to vote for a report back to Parliament. This meant that the Bill returned to Parliament for its second reading on 28 June in exactly the same form as it was introduced.

“I have today introduced a Supplementary Order Paper to the Bill that includes every amendment that would have been made by the select committee," Mr Hodgson said. "This Supplementary Order Paper amends the original Bill and it is this amended version that will now be debated by Parliament."

“The select committee did an excellent job in working through the issues and was on the brink of recommending some very sound amendments. The irresponsible antics of the National and Act members of the committee derailed this process at the last moment, but I do not want the earlier efforts of the committee and submitters to be wasted."

The amendments in the Supplementary Order Paper clarify and enhance existing policy in the Bill, rather than making changes of substance. Four key areas of improvement are:
- specification of a process for establishing the Crown Entity Electricity Governance Board, should it ever be required;
- a narrowing of the scope of the regulation and rule-making powers;
- clarification of the provisions for land access by lines companies;
- provision for electricity trust shareholders to appoint an auditor at their annual general meeting, rather than being automatically subject to audit by the Auditor-General.

The Supplementary Order Paper includes an explanatory note setting out the details of the changes to the original Bill. The draft select committee commentary on the Bill is available from the Select Committee Office: ph 04 499 0486.


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