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Energy Minister has fiddled while Rome burns

Energy Minister has fiddled while Rome burns

"Energy Minister Pete Hodgson must stop trying to dream up new excuses for his failure to take any action over the deteriorating state of our electricity infrastructure," says National Party Energy spokesman Roger Sowry.

"It's rich for Mr Hodgson to now say his Electricity Commission will be able to fix all the problems with the national grid, when the truth is the commission simply doesn't have the regulatory power to do it.

"The reality is that Pete Hodgson has fiddled while Rome burns.

"The real villain in this piece is the RMA. It must be reformed," says Mr Sowry.

"For the past five years, the Government has done nothing with what the Environment Minister once described as a beautifully written, beautifully balanced piece of legislation.

"A starting point for reform would have been Simon Upton's Amendments, which were promptly dumped by Labour.

"It's too litte too late now to say that a review is under-way and changes could be actioned in a year.

"How many more times can the Minister claim he has addressed the problem before he actually does?

"How many blackouts will New Zealanders have to endure before the Minister realises that this is an issue of urgent national importance and we may not have a year up our sleeves?

"New Zealand needs a First World infrastructure to support a First World economy. It's now clear the only way to get either will be to remove Labour from Government at the next election," says Mr Sowry.

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