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Brownlee must quit scaremongering or be sacked


Brownlee must quit scaremongering or be sacked

National’s energy spokesperson Gerry Brownlee must stop making blatantly untruthful claims about New Zealand’s electricity supply situation, says Energy Minister Pete Hodgson.

“In his quest for publicity Mr Brownlee is making grossly misleading claims that New Zealand is heading for electricity blackouts. His claims about the significance of various electricity supply and demand forecasts are demonstrably false and if he continues to make them his leader must sack him. Mr Brownlee is demeaning his role as an Opposition spokesperson and branding his party as desperate and dishonest.

“On Friday when he was caught out misrepresenting the meaning of Transpower’s electricity supply and demand modelling and one of its customer advice notices Mr Brownlee resorted to the claim that it was necessary to ‘read between the lines’. When this was put to Transpower executive Bill Heaps he told TV3 news ‘there’s absolutely no intention whatsoever of people having to read between the lines – the message in them is clear’.

“Today Mr Brownlee is claiming that modelling by electricity industry consultant Bryan Leyland and analysis of that work confirms New Zealand is heading for ‘very high consumer prices and blackouts from 2005’. Again he is distorting the truth, which is that such problems would occur only if no new generation was built and New Zealand had an exceptionally dry winter. The government is aware of serious investigations and planning for more than 2000 megawatts of new generation capacity over the next decade, including some in the next two to three years, which offers no reason to assume a generation shortfall will arise.

“Bill English should rein in Gerry Brownlee or dump him from the energy role and give it to somebody who won't make things up.”


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