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Copeland signals strong direction on energy issues

Wednesday, 29 June 2005

Copeland signals strong direction on energy issues

United Future will push to amend the Conservation Act to ensure that proposals for hydro schemes within the conservation estate can go to a full resource management hearing United Future's Gordon Copeland said in launching the party's energy policy today.

Addressing the Energy Federation of New Zealand conference in Wellington this afternoon, Mr Copeland said that United Future strongly believed that, in general, the free market model provides the best solutions for New Zealand's long term energy needs

"We place a strong emphasis on security of supply and competitive pricing being at the heart of meeting this country's ongoing energy needs," he said.

Other key points announced by Mr Copeland are:

* Converting Transpower NZ Ltd to a public utility with the sole objective of transporting power through the national grid at the lowest possible long-term cost to the consumer;

* opposing levying the oil industry to build additional oil storage capacity - this is a strategic government policy and as such should be paid for by government, as it is really a "defence of the realm" issue;

* opposing the introduction of a carbon tax;

* supporting all dwellings being assessed for energy efficiency and given a standardised energy efficiency rating. Encourage local authorities to introduce bylaws to this effect;

* substantially boosting funding to EECA for a comprehensive nationwide programme of retrofitting existing homes with energy saving improvements.

"New Zealand's ongoing energy needs are too important for us to let them continue to be held ransom to all the clap-trap that currently surrounds them. The country needs to get real on energy and that is exactly what United Future offers," Mr Copeland said.

ENDS

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