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Parker muddies waters on likely power hikes

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Energy Spokesman


1 July 2008

Parker muddies waters on likely power hikes

National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee says David Parker has thrown into doubt his own assurances about rising power prises linked to the current electricity shortages.

"A few weeks ago, the Minister said there'd be no impact on power prices by high spot prices, because householders are not exposed to the spot market.

"But, today he confirmed to Parliament that a levy paid by every power consumer in the country will be used to subsidise the millions of litres of diesel being burnt at the emergency Whirinaki generator, which is making electricity that's being sold at a loss.

"Mr Parker is trying to argue that householders will enjoy the upside but face none of the downside. He conveniently forgets they will be paying the Electricity Commission's crisis levy."

Mr Brownlee is referring to a proposal from the Electricity Commission for another $165 million of taxpayer money to help them purchase more diesel, buy electricity off other generators, and run another power savings campaign later in winter.

"The Electricity Commission doesn't see any end in sight to the shambles that David Parker has presided over."

Mr Brownlee has also released figures showing that the Whirinaki diesel generator burned 13 million litres of diesel in May, which is more than it burned for the first four months of the year.

"We expect the diesel consumption at Whirinaki will have spiked even higher in June, given that crucial hydro lakes in the South Island are being drained to levels not seen in 26 years.

"In its nine years at the helm, Labour has utterly failed to future-proof security of New Zealand's energy supply."

ENDS


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