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Govt Must Rectify Cuts To Energy Efficiency Budget

National's Tony Ryall and Pansy Wong today called on the Government to boost funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), as the Energy Minister urges New Zealanders to conserve electricity.

"On Friday, the Minister put out a 'switch off - or else' warning, saying everyone should cut their power use by 10 percent during the next 10 weeks or face blackouts," Mrs Wong said.

"He said that educating New Zealanders on how to conserve energy was one of the first ways to address the current problem," she said.

"This is the Government's chance to rectify its 8.2 percent cut in funding for the EECA for the 2001-02 financial year in this year's Budget, a decrease of $869,000 to $9.665 million," Mr Ryall said.

"This cut to energy efficiency funding was an extraordinary move at a time power prices were going through the roof. Now that we are verging on a power shortage crisis the Government must show leadership by putting its hands in its pockets to help energy efficiency," he said.

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