Minister sat on power price rise info to avoid bad press
Energy and Resources Spokesperson
3 October 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Minister sat on power price rise information to avoid bad press
Energy Minister Simon Bridges delayed the release of information showing consumers were paying $50 more for their power in an apparent attempt to bury bad news, Labour’s Energy and Resources spokesperson David Shearer says.
“The May Quarterly Survey of Domestic Electricity Prices was due to be published in mid-June but was released a month late.
“It was released at 1pm on Thursday, July 11 – the last day Parliament sat before a two-week recess and too late for the Opposition or media to take the Government to task.
"The survey showed that in that quarter alone power prices had risen by 2.2 per cent, resulting in the average household bill rising by $50.
“Documents now obtained under the Official Information Act reveal the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment twice attempted to release the survey earlier despite the Minister telling Labour in response to written Parliamentary questions “there was no delay”.
“The documents also show Mr Bridges requested the July 11 release and signed off on the Ministry’s accompanying press release.
“The Government was clearly afraid of releasing the bad news given Labour’s NZ Power policy will see hundreds of dollars taken off Kiwi families’ bills while Mr Bridges continues to defend power prices as competitive and fair despite the massive increases.
“Mr Bridges is so arrogant he thinks he can hide bad news sitting on information Kiwis have a right to know,” David Shearer says.
Attached: OIAs and answers to written questions