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Power Cut Response Was Better Because Of Reforms

Hon Max Bradford
Minister for Enterprise and Commerce

6th July, 1999
Power Cut Response Was Probably Better Because of Reforms: Report

A Ministry of Commerce report has found the response to power cuts in Central Otago was at least as good as and probably better than would have been the case before last year's power reforms.

"In particular, this has been so in terms of the ability of a larger lines company to mobilise resources and a larger retail company to draw on more staff to deal with customer enquiries," the report said.

Enterprise and Commerce Minister Max Bradford released the report this morning after comments by some Central Otago residents that the power reforms may have been responsible for delays in reconnecting household power supplies.

Mr Bradford said the report had found lines company Delta Utility Services and electricity retailer TrustPower did all they could to restore power after 150km/h winds and the heaviest snowfall in 25 years downed power poles and snapped lines.

"There is a point in the report that says Delta and TrustPower are going to be reviewed to see whether there are ways of getting better information for consumers, particularly on issues such as when power is to be reinstated.

"But, given the nature and the extent of the outages the report comes down quite firmly with the conclusion that the situation has probably been dealt with at least as well, if not better than was the case prior to the reforms, simply because you had two bigger companies dealing with this and they could put more people onto the problems much more quickly," Mr Bradford said.


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