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Overdue appointments latest electricity shambles

Hon Dr Nick Smith
National Party Energy Spokesman

21 October 2006

Overdue appointments latest electricity shambles

It is incompetent and unacceptable that three of the Electricity Commissioners’ terms of appointment expired more than a year ago, says National’s Energy spokesman, Nick Smith.

Commissioners David Close, Doug Bell and Graham Pinnell were appointed in 2003 and their terms expired last year.

No reappointments have been made but they continue to serve on the Electricity Commission.

Dr Smith says it’s no wonder the electricity sector is in a shambles when the Minister cannot even meet the simple task of appointing commissioners in a timely manner.

“This fiasco over appointments comes on top of the sacking of Roy Hemmingway, who has cried foul over political interference in the commission’s work.

“What better way for the Government to control the commission than have the commissioners on tenterhooks for months as to whether they are coming or going.

“It just makes a joke of Government claims that the commission is independent.

“New Zealand needs a strong and independent Electricity Commission to ensure a secure and affordable supply of electricity,” says Dr Smith.


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