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West Coast should not be a political football


West Coast should not be a political football

West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O'Connor is furious that the West Coast continues to be used and abused by National Party MPs for cheap political point-scoring.

Mr O'Connor said Nick Smith's attempts to force Conservation Minister Chris Carter to commit to a land transfer over Card Creek ecological area before visiting the area were unhelpful to the issues.

"Emotive political point-scoring by Nick Smith will not help progress this issue.We need to address accurately what are our electricity needs, what are the alternative methods of generation, and what are the expectations of the power companies in charging for that electricity. They are not only West Coast issues, but ones that need to be resolved for the whole of New Zealand."

Mr O'Connor said West Coast electricity supply was secure because Westpower and Transpower had committed millions of dollars to upgrade the Inangahua line.

"The so-called crisis over power supply has been addressed in the short term and we need to focus on a sensible long term solution, not some opportunistic political debate."

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