"Arrogant" Attitude Stymied Power Deal
For immediate release 3 August 1999
The New Zealand First Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters, said today that Max Bradford cannot seem to accept that he is in an MMP environment and that some issues can only be advanced through negotiation and compromise.
"We negotiated the power price issue in good faith under a commitment that we would keep everything under wraps until we had reached an agreement.
"The Minister meanwhile, indicated to others last Friday that he was going to introduce the legislation anyway, and this obviously means that he doesn't understand that negotiations require trust between parties. (see attached "Checkpoint" transcript)
"We were only one small point apart when the Minister had to pretend he was totally in control of the situation and that others, New Zealand First MPs, could take it or leave it."
Mr Peters said that the bill could still proceed if the Minister was prepared to bend over the one remaining detail relating to monopolistic retailers and be prepared to act when consumers were being charged unjustified power prices.
"MMP requires cooperation and all parties putting their cards on the table.
"If Mr Bradford has given foreign owners an undertaking that he will not regulate against retailers, then he should say so now because his current position is illogical and inexplicable." Mr Peters said.