Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Pull The Plug On Corporate Welfare

Chief Reporter

Tiwai Point Smelter: Pull The Plug On Corporate Welfare

Just when longsuffering domestic power consumers were asking: “How much longer do we have to go on subsidising one of the biggest transnational corporations in the world, which gets the biggest single chunk of NZ’s electricity at a secret rock bottom price while our power bills keep going up?”, we get the answer – at least until the end of 2030. That is the end year for the latest power price contract just signed by Rio Tinto Aluminium NZ (much better known by its former name, Comalco) and Meridian Energy.

Like all the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter’s previous power price contracts, over nearly 40 years, this one is top secret. The current contract price is estimated to be 4.7 cents per unit, or ¼ of the power price to the average home. And, as it always has done, the company issued threats in case it didn’t get what it wanted – this time it threatened to produce its own power from a coal fired station (just what NZ needs, another coal fired power station). It needn’t have worried, as Meridian has followed a long and dishonourable tradition, dating back to the NZ Electricity Department, of giving this transnational corporate bludger what it wants. It has run rings around all Governments, whether National or Labour.

This one smelter uses around 15% of all NZ’s electricity, 24/7. In 2006, Rio Tinto Aluminium NZ made a $277 million dollar profit, double what it made the year before. Why is the NZ public subsidising this transnational, owned by one of the world’s biggest (and nastiest) mining companies? Why are we allowing 1/6th of our total electricity to be dedicated to this one enterprise?

At the very least, charge it the going rate. It can definitely afford it, particularly when it’s being subsidised by everybody else (the Rogernauts seem to be conspicuously silent about the country’s biggest welfare recipient). Even better, shut it down and free up that massive block of electricity for something rather more useful. More than once the company has threatened to pack up and leave, if it doesn’t get its own way. CAFCA says: be our guest and don’t forget to turn off the light when you go, as you’ve wasted enough of our power already.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Chilling The Warm Fuzzies About The US/China Trade Deal

Hold the champagne, folks. This week’s China/US deal is more about a change in tone between the world’s two biggest economies – thank goodness they’re not slapping more tariffs on each other! - than a landmark change in substance. The high walls of US and Chinese tariffs built in recent years will largely remain intact, and few economists are predicting the deal will significantly boost the growth prospects for a slowing US economy. As the New York Times noted this morning, the likes of New Zealand will still face the trade barriers imposed by the Trump administration during the recent rounds of fighting. More>>

 

PGF Kaikōura $10.88M: Boost In Tourism & Business

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Whitebaiting: Govt Plans To Protect Announced

With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Resource For Schools On Climate Change

New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change... More>>

ALSO:

In Effect April: New Regulations For Local Medicinal Cannabis

Minister of Health Dr David Clark says new regulations will allow local cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products that will potentially help ease the pain of thousands of people. More>>

ALSO:


RNZ: New Year Honours: Sporting Greats Among Knights And Dames

Six new knights and dames, including Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua and economist Professor Dame Marilyn Waring, have been created in today's New Year's Honours List. The list of 180 recipients - 91 women and 89 men - leans heavily on awards for community service, arts and the media, health and sport.
More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What An Inquiry Might Look Like

Presumably, if there is to be a ministerial inquiry (at the very least) into the Whakaari/White Island disaster, it will need to be a joint ministerial inquiry. That’s because the relevant areas of responsibility seem to be so deeply interwoven... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels