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Blame for black-outs laid at Labour’s feet

Blame for black-outs laid at Labour’s feet

National Party Energy spokesman Nick Smith says the lack of new generation capacity in New Zealand is reaching crisis point.

“The risk of a ‘severe’ winter power crisis is now being described by officials as ‘quite high’ with hydro lake storage slumping to levels lower than before the power crisis of 1992.

“And this isn’t just a short term issue. Today, Meridian Energy has warned that black-outs during the 2011 Rugby World Cup may be a reality without a substantial shift in Government policy.

“Labour is now running the real risk of black outs, having created a bureaucratic muddle between the Commerce Commission, the Electricity Commission and its SOEs.

“This is a recipe for bureaucratic buck-passing when the lights do go out.

“Mr Parker cannot continue to ignore these serious warnings from the energy sector.

“The Government needs to clean up the mess it has created by providing clear direction on who is responsible for the security of electricity supply. It must urgently resolve its policy on Kyoto, fix the RMA and provide investors with the certainty they need to build new generation.

“National will be pursuing these serious issues for the New Zealand economy at the Commerce Select committee tomorrow, with Meridian Energy before the committee for its financial review,” says Dr Smith.

Ends

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