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“Power crisis” myth: setting the record straight

Hon David Parker
Minister of Energy

2 May 2008 Media Statement

The “power crisis” myth: setting the record straight

1. How many times during the Labour government’s term have the lights gone out as result of insufficient electricity generation?
a) 3 times
b) twice
c) once
d) Never

2. When did a ‘dry winter’ last cause rolling blackouts?
a) 2006
b) 2003
c) 1992
d) 1974

3. When did we last have a ‘dry winter’?
a) 2006
b) 2003
c) 2001
d) 1992

4. Which political party was in power during the 1992 power crisis, which was the most serious over the last two decades, required a big public savings campaign, street lights to be dimmed and hot water cylinders to be turned off?
a) Labour
b) National

5. Which political party oversaw the “Max Bradford” reforms of the electricity sector, which resulted in inadequate monitoring of security margins?
a) Labour
b) National

6. Which political party, recognising this flaw in the reforms, established the Electricity Commission in 2003 to better manage security of supply?
a) Labour
b) National

7. Which political party shows every sign of proposing to dis-establish the Electricity Commission?
a) Labour
b) National

8. Despite the multiple challenges the electricity system has faced this year, including thermal outage, a drought and the decommissioning of pole 1, are Transpower and the Electricity Commission predicting blackouts this winter?
a) Yes
b) No


1. d) Never
2. d) 1974
3. c) 2001 (2003 was a dry autumn, which led to fears of a dry winter, which didn’t eventuate)
4. b) National
5. b) National
6. a) Labour
7. a) Labour
8. b) No


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