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Serious questions raised after overcharging claim

Gerry Brownlee National Party Energy Spokesman

17 April 2003

Serious questions raised after overcharging claim

The National Party is urging the Energy Minister to direct state owned power generators to repay any money collected after what Pete Hodgson claims is overcharging.

"If the Minister is now saying the pricing model is wrong, then he is morally bound to make sure state generators refund those who've been overcharged," says National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

"The Minister's claims raise serious questions about how the Government has been managing the looming electricity crisis," he says.

"Even if the overcharging was accidental, industries have been forced to close their doors because of power costs and they should be reimbursed for any errors in price calculation.

"Pete Hodgson may have opened a pandoras box of legal issues for the Government," Mr Brownlee says.

"If the Minister is unable to elaborate on what he claims was the problem, then it's time for the Government to call in an outside agency to investigate.

"It's also totally inappropriate for Pete Hodgson to suggest he's confident he'll be cleared in a select committee inquiry into the looming crisis.

"National initiated the inquiry and we're determined to make sure it's absolutely objective, thorough and transparent," says Mr Brownlee.


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