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Power prices rise again as Energy Minister tinkers

Roger Sowry MP National Party Energy Spokesman

31 August 2004

Power prices rise again as Energy Minister tinkers

"All New Zealanders are paying the price for the Labour Government's lethargic response to New Zealand's longer term energy crisis," says National Party Energy spokesman Roger Sowry.

Government-owned Mercury Energy has increased electricity prices by an average of 8 per cent for more than quarter of a million households in the greater Auckland area.

Mercury's move follows a similar step by state-owned Genesis - which pushed up prices by an average of 12% last month.

"The increases are being blamed on dwindling gas reserves, but surely that highlights the risk being taken by the Government to underwrite the new gas-fired power station being built by Genesis at Huntly.

"The Government has known about this looming energy crisis for its entire term in office. It is no surprise that Maui is running low and no surprise that it takes more than just the flick of a switch to build new generation.

"The Minister knows that Labour's meddling in our energy sector has been damaging. That's the reason why he has been panicked into taking risks with Genesis which could end up costing all of us even more," says Mr Sowry.

ENDS

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