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Fuel and electricity price gouging hits regions hardest

Mere Takoko - New Zealand First East Coast Candidate
For Immediate Release - Tuesday, 19 August, 2014

Power Up NZ report highlights fuel and electricity price gouging hits regions hardest

New Zealand First Candidate for the East Coast electorate, Mere Takoko, will lead a convoy of logging trucks and supporters through East Coast city centres in a bid to highlight the rising cost of electricity and fuel in the region.

The delegation will reach the Gisborne city centre at 12pm where Ms Takoko will release a report called Power Up NZ at Heipipi Park before continuing on through Opotiki, Whakatane, Kawerau and Rotorua.

Ms Takoko says the Power Up NZ report will show how energy companies have been adding unnecessary costs to consumer fuel and electricity bills. It also outlines how New Zealand's worst polluters have been purchasing cheap and dirty international carbon credits which has collapsed New Zealand's carbon market.

"Iwi have lost over NZ$600 million as a result and the forestry sector is also suffering. Our convoy aims to support the sector's NZ$2bn plan to bring 50,000 jobs to the regions," says Ms Takoko.

"The report includes research provided by Treasury's own advisors that shows energy companies have hood winked consumers through price-gouging and have profited to the tune of NZ$1.38 billion.

"Our information illustrates how these polluters are causing irreparable economic harm. They are stifling growth in the regions and draining wealth from New Zealand taxpayers.

Ms Takoko says the Government really needs to stop putting the profit margins of energy companies before those of New Zealanders.

"Their price gouging is now becoming common practice and is having an overall negative impact on other industries including the forestry and seafood sectors.

"John Key has effectively allowed this to occur under our noses. The ongoing loss of our strategic assets has had a flow on effect of increasing fuel and energy costs for our families. People from the East Coast and other regions are paying up to a third more than other places across the country and that also impacts on food prices," says Ms Takoko.

The convoy will depart Gisborne at 12.30pm to attend a public meeting in Rotorua hosted by the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group at Tama te Kapua Marae where New Zealand First leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters, is expected to address the meeting with other political leaders.


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