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Countless energy documents but still no security

Don Brash MP
National Party Leader

4 July 2006

Countless energy documents but still no security of supply


National Party Leader Don Brash says it’s hard to believe that, after seven years in government and countless energy strategy documents, the proposed New Zealand Energy Strategy will make any difference to our faltering energy infrastructure.

Since coming into office, Labour has released countless documents around security of electricity supply, including:

o June 2000: Electricity Industry Inquiry Report.
o October 2000: Energy Policy Framework.
o December 2000: Government Policy Statement.
o December 2002: Government Policy Statement on Financial Transmission Rights.
o September 2003: Electricity Commission Established and Draft Government Policy Statement on Electricity Governance.
o October 2004: New Government Policy Statement on Electricity Governance.
o October 2004: Sustainable Energy Discussion Document.
o June 2005: Initial Security of Supply Policy.

Dr Brash says the priorities of today’s strategy, as outlined by Energy Minister David Parker, do not correct Labour’s failure to address the roadblocks in the way of building new generation, such as the Resource Management Act.

“Labour’s excessive bureaucracy – particularly the RMA and the confused Electricity Commission – has left us with a faltering energy infrastructure that is struggling to keep up with current demand, let alone the demands of a growing economy.

“The fundamental problems are a lack of investment in electricity infrastructure caused by Labour’s rejection of new generation like Dobson, its failure to achieve its own energy efficiency targets, its refusal to reform the RMA, and the policy mess over Kyoto.

"If National had become Government last year we would now have an Infrastructure Minister, who would have been responsible for accelerating vital infrastructure development. That would have included the national grid.

"We would also have reformed the RMA to provide a sensible balance between the protection of the environment and the desperate need for more generation capacity,” says Dr Brash.

ENDS

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