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Time to Take Transpower Back

12 June 2005

MEDIA RELEASE

ATTENTION: POLITICAL REPORTERS

TIME TO TAKE TRANSPOWER BACK

“Recent information about State power generator Transpower’s dodgy market and tax manipulations reinforce our view that it is time to take Transpower back under an integrated model of public ownership and community control of the electricity market,” said Paul Piesse, Co-leader of the Alliance party today.

He was commenting on recent revelations that Transpower “lost” $20m in their 2002 accounts in relation to the December 2002 agreement by which Transpower borrowed over 700 millions of dollars from an unknown party and then on-lent three-quarters of the amount to other unnamed financial institutions.

“This most recent scandal alongside the ongoing 30-40% of price rises from electricity retail companies over the last three years emphasises the need for a return to public and community ownership and control of commercial electricity generation, distribution and retail sale. Market mechanisms must be removed from the whole electricity sector,” said Paul Piesse.

“Many New Zealanders are condemned to a long cold winter due to the high prices of electricity resulting from the market reforms,” said Paul Piesse. “Prices need to be regulated and controlled so that electricity is affordable."

Paul Piesse said that the Alliance would fight to stop State Owned Enterprise company managers doing dodgy deals and focus instead on tasks that were in the real long term interest of New Zealanders.

ENDS

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