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Confidence in Electricity Commission undermined

Hon Nick Smith
National Party Energy Spokesman

2 May 2006

Confidence in Electricity Commission further undermined

New Zealanders can have little confidence in the Electricity Commission when even one of its own commissioners does not agree with its grid security policies, says National Party Energy spokesman Nick Smith.

He was responding to comments from commissioner David Close that he has ‘fundamental reservations’ about the commission’s decision-making processes, with reference to the Auckland transmission upgrade.

“These strong comments from this commissioner echo comments from Transpower, Meridian and Genesis over their concerns regarding security of electricity supply,” says Dr Smith.

“Commissioner Closes’s comments are a body blow to the Electricity Commission as it struggles to retain public confidence.

“They come just a fortnight after the commission had to confess that its calculations on storage availability and the level of risk of a power crisis were seriously wrong.

“The Government has created a bureaucratic mess within the electricity industry with the Electricity Commission, Transpower and the state generators having confusing roles and responsibilities.

“The end product is a lack of confidence in security of electricity supply.

“We cannot have these sorts of shenanigans in an area as critical as electricity supply,” says Dr Smith.

ENDS

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