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Government gags business again

Hon Roger Sowry MP National Party Energy Spokesman

29 July 2004

Government gags business again

The Government has asserted in Parliament this afternoon that Transpower has changed its strongly held position of yesterday, that the proposed seabed and foreshore legislation has the potential to compromise power supplies, says National Party Energy spokesman Roger Sowry.

"Transpower was adamant yesterday before a Parliamentary select committee that the Government's proposed legislation would seriously hinder the laying of a new Cook Strait cable and could prevent maintenance work on the existing cable.

"Under questions today, Michael Cullen could not confirm whether the Energy Minister's office had contacted Transpower expressing anger at the embarrassment caused by the company's submission. But he was able to confirm that the Government operated on a 'no surprises' basis, and the Transpower submission fell outside that criteria.

"It stretches the realms of credibility for Transpower to have a strongly held view one day, then change its tune the next without some kind of message coming from above.

"Once again the Government is stifling business concerns about infrastructure," says Mr Sowry.


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