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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: NZ Begins Presidency Of UN Security Council

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the start of New Zealand’s month-long Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. More>>

ALSO:


Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Harmful Digital Communication Bill Passes: Focus Must Be On Education

InternetNZ acknowledges the passage of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill into law this afternoon, and says that the sooner the education efforts at the heart of the legislation start, the better... More>>

ALSO:

3-Year Transport Plan: No Plans On Six Northland-Election Bridges

The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza Blockade: Māori TV Crew Returning Safely From Israel

A Māori Television crew will be flown back from Israel after their boat was detained by the Israeli Navy while attempting to break the Gaza blockade. More>>

ALSO:

Family Violence: Increasing Reporting But Fewer Resolutions

“We are aware the Police have embarked on a significant programme of change in how they respond to family violence. The data suggests that adequate resourcing including investing in staff training, support and culture change will be required for this to be effective.” More>>

ALSO:

Health: NZ Children Still Suffer Rickets From Lack Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency continues to cause rickets in young New Zealanders, new University of Otago research has found. The researchers say that their finding suggests that at-risk mothers and children should be better targeted for Vitamin D supplementation. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news