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Direction needed from Govt over power generation

Hon Roger Sowry MP National Party Energy Spokesman

29 March 2004

Direction needed from Govt over power generation

"The cancellation of Project Aqua has some potentially serious ramifications for the electricity generating sector, and the New Zealand economy in the long term," according to National Party Energy spokesman Roger Sowry.

"The Labour Government must now step up and show some direction.

"It must make some hard decisions about our future power needs and generation options. It should also move urgently to streamline the RMA process for all businesses - rather than for its select few so-called 'winners'.

"New Zealand's future power needs will not be met by wind alone. Despite opposition from the Minister, coal is increasingly looking like the most realistic answer to our immediate power requirements.

"Labour's premature ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and its promise of a carbon tax in 2007 has undermined alternatives to Project Aqua," Mr Sowry says.

"National has serious questions about the Kyoto protocol and thinks it was very unwise for New Zealand to take on these obligations before our key trading partners had signed the protocol.

"National has already stated that it will not impose a carbon tax and will review our obligations under Kyoto to ensure New Zealand business is not disadvantaged," says Mr Sowry.

"Labour should also be moving to remove more of the barriers to gas exploration, so generators can have another viable fuel choice.

"Consumers must have long-term energy certainty. Without it we will struggle to improve economic growth and attract important foreign investment," says Mr Sowry.

Ends

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