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Nats want to fix wrong part of their power mess

7 May 2004

Nats want to fix the wrong part of their power mess

Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says National's new position on the electricity market is fixing the wrong part of Max Bradford's disastrous reforms.

National's Energy Spokesperson Roger Sowry has said his party will now back electricity lines companies being able to own unlimited power plants, which has been forbidden since the forced separation of lines and retailing businesses in the mid-90s by National's own Energy Minister, Max Bradford.

"Allowing lines companies to own more power plants will not make much difference," said Ms Fitzsimons, the Green Party's Energy Spokesperson.

"Under the existing law, the lines companies are already allowed to own an unlimited amount of renewable generation, which includes hydro, wind, geothermal and landfill gas energy sources. The problem is they are not allowed to sell in the market, except through retailers who they are competing with and who control pricing.

"The Greens favour distributed sources of renewable generation, which lines companies are well suited to build, because they are sustainable and offer greater security of supply.

"What New Zealand should be doing, rather than what National is proposing, is allowing the lines companies to sell their renewably generated electricity directly into the market where they can get a fair price, while continuing the limit on oil, gas or coal plants," said Ms Fitzsimons.

ENDS

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