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Hodgson makes pointless threat to power generators

Hodgson makes pointless threat to power generators

The National Party's appalled by an unprovoked attack on power generators by Energy Minister Pete Hodgson.

"In today's Otago Daily Times Mr Hodgson says of electricity generators that 'the Government would bring them to their knees' if they fail to get the country through winter.

"That's an appalling abuse of power, and what's worse is it serves no purpose because the Government owns 80% of the country's generation capacity," says National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

"The Minister challenges the market to 'make it work or the political process will take it off you' - after four years in the job that's the best he can come up with.

"This is a Labour Government that's again showing its business naivety, clearly Helen Clark was right to remove Pete Hodgson from the management of the looming electricity crisis," says Mr Brownlee.

"It's that kind of thinking out loud that has seen Contact Energy shares fall from $4.45 on Monday March 24, to $4.21 this morning.

"That is a 5.4% drop in price in the five trading days since Helen Clark threatened 'significant change' in the sector.

"Those are the so called 'mum and dad' shareholders who bought Contact shares never imagining the Government would deliberately erode the value of their investment with off the cuff comments.

"It feels like a case of déjà vu - remember the Government's botched handling of the Air New Zealand deal?" Mr Brownlee asks.

"Labour's been left naval gazing as it looks to solve the looming crisis, offering up backward thinking ideas that include price fixing and more state control.

"The Government's even advocating the appointment of a centralised buyer who would purchase more power than the country needs to get through a dry year.

"But it's clearly missing the point, when there's no power to buy.

"Householders and businesses want real answers - not misdirected threats and half baked solutions," Mr Brownlee says

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