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Transpower Board must go if Caymans deal is dodgy

15 April 2005

Transpower Board must go if Caymans deal is dodgy

Transpower's board should be fired if their Cayman Islands tax deal proves to be as dodgy as it looks, says Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.

The state-owned electricity grid operator is reportedly trying to reduce its tax bill by leasing the South Island power network in a shadowy deal that ultimately leads to the Caymans.

"If Transpower have engaged in dodgy dealings that have cost the taxpayer or put the grid at risk, its board and CEO must be fired immediately," said Ms Fitzsimons, a persistent critic of Transpower over its Waikato transmission lines plan.

"So the Government must quickly investigate this deal and report back on its impact on electricity consumers and taxpayers. Michael Cullen needs to put the facts before the people.

"New Zealanders expect their SOEs, especially one running something as essential as the electricity grid, to conduct itself in a transparent and ethical manner. On the evidence we can see this morning, this all looks very reminiscent of the BNZ's adventures in the 1980s.

"If in fact everything is above board and ethical, New Zealanders need to know the facts that establish this, quickly," said Ms Fitzsimons.

ENDS

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