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New Zealanders Being Gouged by Electricity and Liquid Fuels

New Zealanders Being Gouged by Electricity and Liquid Fuels Industry


New Zealand consumers of electricity are being price gouged to the tune of about $1.388 million while the companies pocket the profits, a new economic analysis released today by the Iwi Leaders Forum reveals.

The analysis has identified evidence of overcharging by energy and liquid fuels companies for the carbon credits they must purchase to offset their pollution, as part of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

“These companies have been charging consumers at an average rate of $14 per tonne of carbon since the inception of the ETS, when the market price is less than $3,” said spokesperson Dr Apirana Mahuika.

The Chairman of the Iwi Leadership Group for Climate Change says this analysis has lifted the lid on the Government’s strategy to prop up the value of state assets like Genesis Energy prior to selling them off.

The Iwi leader's forum put forward a proposal to the Prime Minister that would create 50,000 new and permanent jobs in the regions, attract $800 million of foreign direct investment to plant 100,000 hectares of new forests per year for 10 years and, would cost taxpayers nothing.

This proposal would become New Zealand’s strategy to meet its international emission reduction obligations where currently New Zealand has no strategy.

The Prime Minister rejected the proposal arguing it would add $500 per household in increased energy costs. Treasury’s own advisor Dr Adolf Stroombergen says the Prime Minister is wrong where his analysis puts the cost to households at only $21 per year.

“The Government has unashamedly feathered the nests of the energy companies at the expense of all New Zealanders.

The Iwi Leaders Forum has argued that the Government has gone against the regulatory settings of its major trading partners by allowing the dumping of dubious, mostly Eastern European carbon credits which have flooded the New Zealand market, eroding the local carbon price to historically low levels.

“This analysis provides the distorted carbon market suits energy companies but not New Zealand consumers who are effectively paying another tax to prop up the Government’s friends in the energy industry,” said Dr Mahuika.

Meanwhile the Iwi Leaders Forum says it is continuing to press Government to come to the table to negotiate a settlement for the $600 million Iwi believe they have lost as a result of the artificially low carbon price.

The Forum says the Crown has gone back on a deal that promised that carbon credits Iwi received as part of Treaty settlements would hold their value.

Mr Mahuika says the issue was raised directly with the Prime Minister as recently as Waitangi Day, but nothing has been done.

ENDS

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