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Paying the Price for Mishandling Solid Energy

Richard Prosser MP

Spokesperson for State-Owned Enterprise
8 OCTOBER 2015

Paying the Price for Mishandling Solid Energy

Kiwis are paying the price for the government’s appalling mishandling of state-owned Solid Energy, says New Zealand First.

“The closure of Huntly East coalmine today and the loss of more than 60 jobs rests at the door of the National Government which demanded dividends and pushed the company into excessive debt,” says State-Owned Enterprises Spokesperson Richard Prosser.

“Most of the coal extracted from Huntly is sold to NZ Steel’s Glenbrook Steel Mill?

“Has Australian-owned NZ Steel’s Glenbrook site already decided to drop the contract for Huntly coal?

“In 2012 New Zealand Steel said it was ‘emotionally committed’ to renewing its contract with Solid Energy, perhaps the emotion has gone?

“Huntly East struggled after losing coal supply contracts for Genesis Energy's nearby Huntly power station to Indonesian imports - in itself bad practice.

“Spending foreign exchange to import coal, while closing our own mines and laying off our own people, is economic stupidity of the highest order.

"This is the worst management of a state-owned enterprise we have seen – the government ignored the warning signs, pushing for dividends that weren’t there.

“State-owned enterprises are there to support the economic and social well-being of New Zealanders – they are vital to a brighter future for all New Zealanders,” says Mr Prosser.

ENDS


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