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Greens respond to Business New Zealand open letter

2 May 2013

Greens respond to Business New Zealand open letter

The Green Party will not be withdrawing its popular plan to reduce power prices for Kiwi families and businesses, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

“The NZ Power plan proposed by the Greens and Labour will lower power prices for Kiwi families and businesses. That will mean warmer homes, a healthier population, and more jobs. We will not be acquiescing to Business New Zealand’s demand that we withdraw this popular plan,” said Mrs Turei.

“The Greens make no apologies for wanting to get power prices down to a fair level. Business New Zealand and National seem to think that electricity companies’ profits matter more than lower power bills for families and businesses.

“It’s important to note that the firms that Business New Zealand is supposed to represent will benefit from this plan. NZ Power will reduce electricity costs to business by around $200m a year, allowing them to expand and hire more people. That’s why groups like the Manufacturers and Exporters Association have come out in support of our plan.

“Business New Zealand and National need to explain to small and medium size business owners up and down the country why they should continue to pay too much for electricity.

“It is a shame that Business New Zealand and National want to protect the broken electricity market, which has led to massive power price rises. Families and businesses are welcoming our plan for change that will fix the broken system and replace it with a proven system that will deliver lower power bills.

“Hyperbolic claims about capital flight and wealth destruction do not impress us or add nothing to the debate. NZ Power will lead to a wealth transfer from the electricity companies who have been making excessive profits to families and businesses who will pay less for power. It will create wealth by removing what is effectively a stealth tax on the economy, leading to healthier families and more jobs.

“The Greens are a democratic party and we won’t have our policy choices dictated to us by big business. We will make our policy choices based on what is best for New Zealand, its people, its economy, and its environment. NZ Power fits the bill,” said Mrs Turei.

ENDS

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