Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Who Owns the South Island Power Grid?


Who Owns the South Island Power Grid?
Good Question. Don’t Assume It Is Transpower

The Government’s proposed partial privatisation of Mighty River Power, Meridian and Genesis Energy has focused attention on the ownership of our State-owned electricity generation companies. The majority of New Zealanders oppose the likelihood of such vital national infrastructure going into foreign ownership.

But what about the State-owned company which “owns” the South Island power grid? Does Transpower actually own that?

Members of the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) will be asking that at Transpower’s Annual Public Meeting at the George Hotel, Christchurch, at 4 p.m. Thursday October 18th (the CAFCA banner will be displayed outside the venue from 3.30 p.m.).

Here’s what we know about the ownership of the South Island grid. Excuse us if the explanation is complex; that’s because the deal was deliberately structured to be complex.
In 2003 Transpower sold the South Island grid and leased it back.
The buyer of the grid was the US-based Wachovia Bank;
• The leaseback of the grid runs through the Cayman Islands, a tax haven;
• The leaseback of the grid runs for about 100 years, but Transpower has the option to repurchase the grid after about 25 years;
• The deal was tax-driven. At the time, it was being arranged, an inquiry into abusive tax avoidance schemes was underway in the United States. A ban on this particular type of deal (lease to service) took effect from just days after this deal was signed;
• Transpower delayed for a year showing the one-off profit effect in its financial report because of uncertainties related to the tax inquiry.
That meant that Transpower is the operator (not the owner) of the South Island grid.
During the early days of the current global financial crisis, Wachovia was taken over by Wells Fargo, another American bank.
Transpower’s 2012 Financial Report states that, in November 2009, Transpower partially terminated the cross-border lease over the South Island grid. However, that same Financial Report contains material which suggests that the cross-border lease is continuing.
The effect of the cross border lease was to duplicate ownership of the grid, so that ownership could be claimed in the United States as well as in New Zealand.

We call upon Transpower to explain:

What is meant by partial termination of the lease?
Can any US organisation still claim today that it owns the South Island grid? Yes or no?


CAFCA
www.cafca.org.nz
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=117427631610589&ref=ts
http://www.watchblogaotearoa.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/#!/NZN4S

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Northland By-Election

Supposedly, Winston Peters’ victory in Northland has exposed the simmering dissatisfaction with the government that exists out in the provinces. Yet it remains to be seen whether this defeat will have much significance – and not simply because if and when Labour resumes business as usual in the Northland seat at the next election, Peters’ hold on it could simply evaporate.

On Saturday, National’s electorate vote declined by 7,000 votes, as the 9,000 majority it won last September turned into a 4,000 vote deficit – mainly because Labour supporters followed the nod and wink given by Labour leader Andrew Little, and voted tactically for Peters. In the process, Labour’s vote went down from nearly 9,000 votes six months ago, to only 1,315 on Saturday. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news