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


Alliance demands 'end of greed'

Alliance Party demands 'end of greed' in electricity sector

Alliance Media Release - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 22 October 2008

Alliance Party Co-Leader Andrew McKenzie today called for the nationalisation of the electricity sector in the wake of announcements that Contact Electricity Directors wanted to double their fees after sending their customers letters informing them of a 10 percent increase in their electricity bills.

Low income families throughout New Zealand are going to suffer because Contact directors feel that they are unpaid in the international marketplace.

"Contact Electricity's Deputy Chairperson, Phil Pryke is already paid $1000 a day," Mr McKenzie said. "He wants it doubled to $2000 a day. This is at the same time that New Zealand was facing financial recession. People who were already facing the chill wind of economic recession would pick up the bill for his salary increase."

Mr McKenzie said that Contact directors are apparently so arrogant, that not only did they treat their customers with contempt, they even ignored their own shareholders and, even their financial advisors who were against such an increase. This does not say much for the great 'shareholding democracy' which supposedly under the reforms, would keep a rein on these individuals.

Mr McKenzie noted that the electricity reforms of the 1980s and 1990s were the cause of the problem. By allowing the market and big business into the electricity sector, companies could charge what ever they liked.

"Electricity was, and remains a natural monopoly," he said. "The fact is that the companies have largely formed unrepresentative cartels. The idea that somehow prices would drop as the various companies competed amongst each other is now seen for what it is, a sick and expensive joke."

Mr McKenzie said that New Zealand's electricity sector was a shambles and it was time that these people were brought to brook by returning the sector to public ownership.

"Electricity is a public good and people should not go without power, or be severely financially disadvantaged so that company directors could get unreasonable pay increases."

Mr McKenzie said that only the Alliance was committed to ensuring people's wellbeing came first in the provision and supply of electricity and gas. This meant company boards would be abolished and price controls on electricity would be imposed.

Mr McKenzie said that Contact Electricity's attitude toward people made him sick at heart.

"I do compare Contact's directors to vampires (just like their Wall Street counterparts) but that is an insult to vampires," he stated.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Juggling Covid, And France’s Trump-like Populist

It is the age-old Covid problem. How to balance the needs for firms (and schools) to re-open against the need to protect public health. In the past, the balance has been struck by insisting that the best public health outcomes also deliver the best economic (and educational) outcomes. While that may still be objectively true, it is no longer a politically tenable position... More>>

Covid-19 & Education: NCEA And NZ Scholarship Exams To Proceed

NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have been working together to ensure exams can be managed in a safe way, so students have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned... More>>


Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>


National: Launches Back In Business Plan

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins has today launched National’s detailed plan to save livelihoods and unleash our economy in the face of the huge damage being wrought by the extended Covid lockdown... More>>


Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>

Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>




InfoPages News Channels