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Labour in denial as electricity crisis looms large

Labour in denial as electricity crisis looms large

National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee says the latest lake level data shows that the threat of an electricity crisis this winter is looming ever larger.

“The Government is in denial mode even as the experts are warning of cold showers and industrial shutdowns.”

Mr Brownlee says the latest statistics on lake levels show they’re at worryingly low levels for this time of year and are only very slightly ahead of where they were before the 2003 crisis.

Data from the COMIT website, which provides data on the electricity industry, shows that lake levels are down to only 75% of the average for this time of year. Lake inflows are also well below average, at only 75% of average for this time of year.

“David Parker and the Government can’t ignore the seriousness of the situation. Labour’s failure to future proof our energy infrastructure has left Kiwi householders and businesses exposed to these sorts of dry year risks.”

Mr Brownlee says the national grid is finely balanced, as laid out by Meridian’s Keith Turner this week.

Beyond the low lake levels and inflows, other issues facing the Government include:

The desperate need to fix the Cook Strait pole 1 HVDC cable, which was shut down before Christmas, putting the power supply for North Islanders at risk;

The New Plymouth power station's permanent closure due to asbestos;

Contact's Taranaki combined cycle plant offline due to scheduled maintenance;

High water temperatures in the Waikato River which have limited the generation capacity of the Huntly plant.

“The suggestion that diesel powered generators, cold showers and industrial shutdowns will see us through winter are very much Band-Aid measures.

“Helen Clark and Labour are failing to deal with the real issues that matter to Kiwis.”


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