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Hodgson Out of Touch

Hon Max Bradford
Minister for Enterprise and Commerce

4th November 1999

Hodgson Out of Touch

Labour energy spokesman Pete Hodgson has proved yet again how out of touch he is with the electricity market place, Enterprise and Commerce Minister Max Bradford said today.

Mr Bradford was commenting after Mr Hodgson claimed the electricity reforms were not working due to delays consumers were currently experiencing in switching retail companies.

"My officials are constantly monitoring the situation and they are telling me that retail companies are making good progress resolving transitional issues brought about by the advent of competition.

"People must understand that the industry has been through significant change. It is only natural that there would be some initial teething problems," Mr Bradford said.

In October, 6570 customers switched supplier through the new reconciliation system.

"This number is well above the average for the seven months since competition began and I would expect this number to continue to increase in the coming months as retail companies fine-tune their billing systems and clear the backlog.

"New initiatives in electricity retailing are emerging almost daily.

"Just recently we have seen Mighty River Power extend its cut price offer through Anchormart to the South Island and Meridian Energy has effectively become a nationwide retailer.

"These initiatives are further evidence that competition is gaining momentum with an ever increasing number of New Zealanders benefiting from the electricity reforms," Mr Bradford said.


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