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Labour resorts to misinformation on power blackout

Hon Dr Nick Smith MP
National Party Energy Spokesman

15 June 2006

Labour resorts to misinformation on power blackout

Labour has become so desperate to avoid responsibility for Monday’s power blackout that it’s resorting to misinformation on both funding and Transpower’s concerns about the Resource Management Act, says National’s Energy spokesman, Nick Smith.

“The Prime Minister told Parliament yesterday that ‘Under the current Government, Transpower has been investing an average $300 million per annum in its system’.

“Mr Parker, Mr Mallard and Ms Clark have been stating all week that capital works expenditure is five and sometimes six times greater than under National.

“Yet the audited annual reports of Transpower show capital expenditure of $106 million in 2004/05 - some $200 million less than Helen Clark’s claim.

“The average was $86 million per year under the six years of Labour from 2000 to 2005, and an average of $87 million per year under National for the preceding six years.

“Environment Minister David Benson Pope has in a panic issued two press releases today claiming all of Transpower’s concerns about the RMA had been addressed with last year’s resource management amendment act.

“Transpower’s submission on the Government’s RMA bill specifically identified serious concerns about this bill, and listed eight further amendments that they believed were necessary to upgrade the grid in a timely way.

“Transpower also raised problems with the RMA in November last year to the Energy Law Association conference, and again at the Commerce Select Committee in March this year.

“The Government is deluding itself by not accepting that further reform of the RMA is necessary to fixing the grid.”

ENDS

Attached: Transpower capital spending since 1995

Transpower New Zealand

Financial Year / Total Revenue ($m) / Net profit/loss after tax ($m) / Dividend ($m) / / Cash flows - purchase of fixed assets ($m)
1995 / 524 / 85 / 18 / / 74.837
1996 / 541 / 96 / 64 / / 102.102
1997 / 550 / 93 / 57 / / 115.969
1998 / 557 / -338 / 67 / / 64.407
1999 / 547 / 97 / 81 / / 51.900
2000 / 555 / 164 / 103 / / 60.682
2001 / 496 / 21 / 87 / / 64.856
2002 / 546 / 145 / 83 / / 89.355
2003 / 529 / 23 / 34 / / 103.971
2004 / 534 / 59 / 17 / / 93.271
2005 / 636 / 141 / 40 / / 106.426

Note: The $338m loss in 1997/98 was due to a $448m devaluation of Transpower's assets during the year.

Sources:
Transpower New Zealand, Annual Report (1994/95 to 2004/05)
Treasury, Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand (years ended 30 June 1995 to 2005).
Compiled by: Grant Cleland, Parliamentary Library (x9173)
Date: 13th June 2006.

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