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Giant Christmas Card Calls For Fair Power

A group has delivered a giant Christmas card to the Electricity Authority’s head office on Lambton Quay, in Wellington today.

The card calls for consumer protections to be made mandatory for New Zealand’s electricity companies, to protect everyone who uses electricity.

Kate Day, head of national group Common Grace Aotearoa’s energy justice team, said the card called for guidelines about consumer care to be made into binding rules.

“An Auckland woman died in 2007 after her electricity company switched off her power due to an unpaid bill. She was using an oxygen machine. Sixteen years later, there are still no binding rules to protect consumers, including those medically dependent on power”, she said.

The Electricity Authority has Consumer Care Guidelines but they are voluntary.

Kate Day said Common Grace Aotearoa wants the Electricity Authority to turn the guidelines into binding rules and to see them enforced.

The message inside the card reads:

To Father Christmas and the Electricity Authority,
All we want for Christmas is for Consumer Care Guidelines to be made mandatory,
And a responsible regulatory authority to enforce them.

The card is signed by “Common Grace Aotearoa and friends”.

The inside pages of the card are covered with signatures, including messages of support from local citizens.

Julian Warmington, a member of the energy justice team, designed the card.

He said it was addressed to Father Christmas, but also the Electricity Authority because it was their job to ensure affordable electricity prices and fairness in the energy sector.

“I hope one of them will finally be able to give New Zealanders the gift of a regulated energy sector this year,” he said, “but maybe I’m just imagining they both exist.”

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