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United Future would reposition Transpower

Media statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 5 December 2006

United Future would reposition Transpower

United Future energy spokesperson, Gordon Copeland MP, today reiterated his party’s policy, which would see Transpower converted from a State Owned Enterprise to a Crown owned public utility.

“We believe that the expansion of the national grid should be funded entirely by the Crown through low interest infrastructure bonds.

"The goal should then be to both upgrade and operate the national electricity grid on an inter-generational basis at the lowest long-term cost to consumers.

“It is the nature of an electricity grid when constructed to last for forty or more years. Accordingly in our view it makes sense to spread the cost of any upgrade, which is the interest on the debt and the repayment of the principal, over a term of at least 35 years.

“It makes no sense whatever to lumber those kinds of costs on present electricity users. A grid upgrade is always futuristic, anticipating increased demand in the years ahead and the costs should be apportioned having regard to that reality.

“United Future also believes that present government’s policy which endeavours to earn a return on capital through Transpower is wrong. Rather we believe that, like roading, the national grid should be operated on a cost recovery basis.”

“The Crown does not seek a return on capital from the national highway system and nor should it from the national electricity distribution system," said Mr Copeland.

ENDS

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