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


Electricity reforms nutty: Labour

2000 web siteRegulation to restrain actual and potential anti-competitive practices amongst electricity retailers will be essential to salvage anything out of the Government's electricity restructuring, according to Labour's energy spokesperson Pete Hodgson.

Mr Hodgson has just returned from a week in the UK where he met with officials, regulators and consultants in the electricity industry, as well as with the industry itself.

"With true British restraint and courtesy, they think New Zealand is nuts. They cannot understand our Government's aversion to regulating against anti-competitive practices. They have adopted a very pragmatic approach to regulation and have reduced power prices considerably as a result.

"The British approach is not only to invoke regulations against lines companies, but to stamp out anti-competitive practices against energy companies as well. In New Zealand those practices include disconnection fees, some forms of loyalty schemes, rising fixed charges and the like.

"The British experience has been different. They have not experienced those practices to any great extent but they had to deal with many anti-competitive practices, especially in the door to door selling of electricity contracts, and have done so without hesitation. Their regulatory regime is powerful and effective. They do not shrink from the necessity to regulate, which is why their prices have come down and ours have gone up."

Mr Hodgson said that it was "something of a revelation" to visit Britain and watch jaws drop in amazement each time he explained the recent history of the New Zealand industry to the British experts.

"Britain is very much in favour of a competitive market, and arguably has advanced its reforms further than any other nation. But they did not take the step of an ownership split of line and energy companies and they openly embrace regulation of all parts of the industry as a prerequisite to a competitive outcome.

"In short Britain has ensured that common sense triumphs ideology. In New Zealand the opposite has happened."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Reforming Parliament’s Toxic Culture

It would be nice to think Parliament was a forum where rationality ruled – and where policies are raised and evaluated in terms of their contribution to the greater good. Obviously, it isn’t like that... More>>

Historic Assualt Allegation: Parliamentary Service Staff Member Stood Down
Rt Hon Trevor Mallard said today: “I do not want to cut across any employment or possible police investigations, but I am satisfied that the Parliamentary Service has removed a threat to the safety of women working in the Parliamentary complex." More>>


Fatal 2018 Crash: Police Officer Should Not Have Engaged In Pursuit

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police officer should not have tried to stop or pursue a car thought to contain young people in Palmerston North on 28 May 2018. More>>


New Poverty Targets: Goals Overlook 174000 Children In Worst Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group is pleased to see the Government set ambitious 10-year targets for child poverty reduction, but we are disappointed not to see a target set for improving thousands of young lives where the worst of poverty is found. More>>


Study: Guidelines Needed To Avoid Risks In Government AI

New Zealand is a world leader in government algorithm use – but measures are needed to guard against their dangers. This is the conclusion of a New Zealand Law Foundation-funded report from the University of Otago’s Artificial Intelligence and Law in New Zealand Project. More>>


Pike River: Families Welcome Opening Of Drift

The group representing 29 of the Pike River Families - the Pike River Family Reference Group - has welcomed the unsealing of the mine at a private family event this morning... More>>


Auckland Harbour Bridge: New Design For Walking And Cycling Crossing

The NZ Transport Agency has released plans for its preferred option for a shared path over the Auckland Harbour Bridge which will transform walking and cycling not only across the harbour, but throughout the city. The Transport Agency says its preferred ... More>>



Shaw First Reading Speech: Climate Change Response Bill

Madam Speaker, today we begin the task of amending the Climate Change Response Act [2002], to fulfil the commitment that we have made, as a country, to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. More>>


Housing: More Unsold Kiwibuild Houses Bought By Govt

The Crown underwrite for unsold Kiwibuild homes has been triggered for a second time. Now lack of sales in Mike Greer's development in Canterbury and Auckland means the government has had to buy back seven more homes. More>>





InfoPages News Channels