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Nats question huge pay rise for Genesis boss

National questions huge pay rise for Genesis boss

National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee is questioning the huge pay rise handed out to the chief executive of state owned Genesis Power.

According to the company's annual report tabled in Parliament today, the top salary has jumped from a band of between $420,000 and $430,000 to between $540,000 and $550,000.

"That's an incredible 29% increase over a period that the Government-owned generator came under heavy criticism for failing to forward plan for this year's energy crisis," says Mr Brownlee.

"The top salary is growing at the same time that the Government is imposing a new tax on all of us to pay for reserve generation capacity, which may never be used.

"The National Party accepts that those with unique talents and abilities should be justly rewarded - but is this sort of pay increase really acceptable after the difficulties that surfaced earlier this year?

"In May Genesis was accused of exacerbating the energy crisis by pushing up prices by 11% and at the same time it was defending itself against claims of bad management," says Mr Brownlee. "It was eventually forced to import coal from Australia and Energy Minister Pete Hodgson confessed that Huntly hadn't been running satisfactorily, while Helen Clark chimed in as well.

"Given those and other criticisms of Genesis, it'll be fascinating to hear the explanation for such a big reward," Mr Brownlee says.

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