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NZ First Questions Power Companies Price Policies

Media Release
20 January 2004

NZ First Questions Power Companies Price Policies

New Zealand First is warning the electricity industry that its “shark like” pricing policies will force the next government to seriously consider restructuring the industry to give consumers a better deal.

Energy spokesperson Peter Brown said that in 1999 Labour promised to solve problems in the electricity industry but had now virtually admitted that the government could do little it to ease the predatory electricity pricing policies followed by the power companies.

“Since 1999 we have seen this government preside over two serious winter shortages and skyrocketing wholesale prices – the latest in the past few weeks when bad weather took out transmission lines.

“The situation was so bad that major companies had to shut down because of the prices charged by electricity generating companies, most of which are state-owned.”

Mr Brown said that power companies were forecasting more price rises – up to 15 percent – and he said this should not be tolerated by the government because profits were already substantial.

“The upwards pricing trend has got to stop. It is obvious that we will have to review the structure of the industry after the next election to make it more consumer-friendly.

“All consumers have had enough, and the power companies should heed this warning or face the consequences,” said Mr Brown.

ENDS


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