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IEA positive on New Zealand's energy policy

Hon David Parker
Minister of Energy

Media Statement
11 May 2006

IEA positive on New Zealand's energy policy


A review of New Zealand's energy policies by the International Energy Agency generally praises New Zealand's energy policies while highlighting a number of challenges we face, said Energy Minister David Parker.

IEA Executive Director Claude Mandil today released Energy Policies of IEA Countries - New Zealand 2006 Review. The IEA, an autonomous body within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), reviews the energy policies of member countries about every five years.

Mr Parker said the IEA was positive about New Zealand's current energy policy settings but its report also highlighted the size and complexity of the challenges we face.

"The report emphasises the need to ensure that New Zealand's climate change policies are finalised and implemented, that the electricity market has the appropriate regulatory settings to encourage new generation investment, and that measures to encourage additional oil and gas exploration proceed.

"I am pleased to note that many of the recommendations made by the IEA are already part of the Government's policy, or are under active policy development," said Mr Parker.

Work underway that will address the IEA's recommendations includes:

- the work currently underway to develop a National Energy Strategy to provide long-term direction for the energy sector;

- the review of the climate change policy package, currently in progress;

- the work currently underway to review the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (NEECS), which aims to pursue energy efficiency and renewable energy sources more aggressively. Mr Parker said the Government's work with the Green Party would see an intense focus on energy efficiency and conservation, and he thanked Jeanette Fitzsimons for her work in this area;

- the increased emphasis on public transport;

- the work currently underway to design and implement mandatory biofuels targets in the transport sector;

- the ongoing work to monitor the effects of recent measures to stimulate exploration activity and evaluate the case for further steps given changes to world energy security and competition for offshore rigs; and

- the existing policy of removing any inefficient barriers to entry for new electricity market participants on an ongoing basis.

The IEA report was prepared following a visit to New Zealand in October last year by a team of energy experts from Ireland, Norway, Belgium, Germany and the IEA's headquarters in Paris. New Zealand was last reviewed in 2001.

Hard copies of the report are available from the Minister of Energy's office.


ENDS

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