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Lake Hawea level cause for real worry

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party Energy Spokesman

29 June 2008

Lake Hawea level cause for real worry

The state of Lake Hawea reported in weekend media shows the country is still facing a serious hydro-power shortage this winter, says National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

“Contact says it is very likely that Lake Hawea will have to be drawn down to its lowest level in 26 years just to maintain power supplies.

“The Electricity Commission - which has the say in determining if the lake can be drawn down below its 338m minimum operating level - now has to state if that is in fact its determination.

“If so, that would be confirmation that New Zealand is currently in a crisis situation.

“Overall, New Zealand’s hydro-lake levels are at just 56% of capacity. The Labour Government’s attitude seems to be that with the recent rains the risk of blackouts this winter has receded.

“However, the news about Lake Hawea can only add to the worries about possible power blackouts.

“Late on Friday, Energy Minister David Parker finally released answers to National’s parliamentary questions showing that the Whirinaki station burnt 13.5 million litres of diesel in May and ran every single day. That compares with just 6,000 litres burnt in May last year.

“This just further demonstrates how serious the situation currently is.”


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