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New electricity governance arrangements prepared

Govt prepares for new electricity governance arrangements

The Government is preparing to establish a new governance board for the electricity industry in case the industry fails to reach agreement on a new self-governance structure.

Minister of Energy Pete Hodgson said today it now seemed unlikely the industry would reach agreement on the self-governance arrangements it has been developing for the past two years.

Transpower, the national grid company, has decided to vote against the new arrangements in a referendum now being conducted by the Electricity Governance Establishment Committee. Meridian Energy has also indicated it will not support the new structure.

"The Government will let the industry's referendum process run its course, which is expected to take until mid-May," Mr Hodgson said. "Clearly, however, we must be prepared for the possibility that there will be insufficient support in the industry for the proposed self-governance structure.

"The fall-back option in the event of industry failure to establish a self-governance board is that the government will appoint a Crown Electricity Governance Board. Cabinet today agreed to set aside a small amount of funding to allow preparations for the establishment of such a board to begin. This will ensure that, if the industry process does not succeed, there will be no undue delay in establishing a Crown EGB."

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