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Call for audit of Aqua and Wanganui River decision

Wednesday, 26 May 2004

Copeland call for audit of Aqua and Wanganui River decisions

United Future energy spokesperson Gordon Copeland is calling for a “post-decision audit” in relation to the canning of Project Aqua and the Environment Court’s decision to limit the diversion of Wanganui River water to the Tongariro hydro scheme to ten years only, instead of the 35 years sought.

“Meridian Energy’s decision to pull the plug on Project Aqua is the biggest call made by any State Owned Enterprise in 2002. More than $95 million was spent on the project and even allowing for the subsequent sale of the land purchased etc the company will be looking at a write-off of well over $45 million. A post-decision audit is in line with international best practice.

“Similar action should be taken in relation to Genesis Power Ltd’s knock back by the Environment Court in relation to the company’s Tongariro hydro scheme.

“I urge the government to consider, and consider very carefully, the ramifications of these decisions both for the companies themselves and in the context of New Zealand’s looming electricity crisis.

“Rather than move New Zealand forward, these decisions coupled with the transmission grid restraints in the South Island have added greatly to an already uncertain and tenuous electricity supply future for New Zealand. As a nation we can and indeed must do better,” said Mr Copeland.

ENDS


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