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Rising power bills reflect Govt inaction

Roger Sowry MP - National Party Energy Spokesman

22 November 2004

Rising power bills reflect Govt inaction on generation

National Party Energy spokesman Roger Sowry says figures released at the weekend show that householders are paying through the nose for Labour’s inaction on new power generation.

He is commenting in the wake of a Consumers’ Institute survey which reveals big electricity price rises in the past three years.

In Wellington prices have climbed 30%. In Christchurch the price is up 42%, in Dunedin power bills have jumped an average 29%, while in Auckland the rise has been around 12%.

“The Government’s been all talk and no action on the key impediment to improving the security of our electricity network and ensuring new generation - reform of the Resource Management Act.

“The Government has instead been tinkering around the edges in a way that has increased uncertainty for those looking to invest in new generation.

“The result has been an increase in prices. That hits householders, especially those on fixed incomes, and it hampers growth of the economy.

“It’s simply not good enough that Kiwi power companies are now investing in Australia at the expense of New Zealand.

“It’s equally unacceptable for Energy Minister Pete Hodgson to make himself unavailable to answer questions on why more has not been invested in power stations here at home,” says Mr Sowry.

ENDS

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