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Labour Delays Power Investigation

Labour's opposition to the regulation of power monopolies will delay a Commerce Commission investigation into power prices, Enterprise and Commerce Minister Max Bradford said.

The Bill, which Labour says it will oppose after doing a deal with monopoly companies, would have empowered the commission to investigate lines company charges.

"It would also have given the Commission the power to impose limits if it believed charges were too high," Mr Bradford said.

"Helen Clark says the Commerce Commission should investigate what is behind electricity prices.

"Yet her own party's action is blocking this happening. The Bill would have made it a reality. Labour would rather play politics than help consumers get the lower power prices they deserve.

"The Bill would have ensured that hundreds of thousands of people had access to lower power prices, but Labour has decided to turn their back on consumers," Mr Bradford said.

Mr Bradford said Labour was also trying to pretend power prices had gone up throughout the country.

"Wholesale power prices are half what they were before the reforms. Fifty five per cent of consumers are paying or can pay cheaper power prices than a year ago. A further 20 per cent are no worse off," he said.

ENDS

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