Judith Collins Is No Crusher On Power Rip-Offs

13 April 2017

New Zealand First says Minister of Energy and Resources Judith Collins is no “crusher” having ruled out inquiries into high household retail power prices, the actions of one local lines business and now, the Electricity Authority’s farcical Transmission Pricing Methodology.

“Minister Collins needs to hand her ‘crusher’ card back in, or give it to NZ First,” says New Zealand First’s Energy Spokesperson Fletcher Tabuteau.

“The whole electricity market is rotten from the Electricity Authority’s crock of a consultation to the defective retail electricity that is gouging homes and businesses. 

“As it stands the Electricity Authority is on the verge of making a determination that will hit the regions who least can afford it for six. We’re talking new power price hikes of almost $11m in Northland; over $60m in Auckland; over $4m in Eastern Bay of Plenty; over $4m in Ashburton and over $2m on the West Coast.

“One of the many experts ignored by Minister Collins told us: ‘This is crazy.  National obviously doesn’t want to win the election.’  We have five words of comfort for that individual and the regions in general – help is on the way.

“New Zealand First will not let up on the outrageous power prices our homes and businesses are paying.  In fact this is stealth taxation through transmission charges and energy retailer super profits and we’ve had enough,” says Mr Tabuteau.

 Since January 2012 the Electricity Authority has issued twelve consultation papers, including two substantive proposals for new Transmission Pricing Methodology Guidelines and (most recently) a supplement to the second set of proposals including consultation with a two week deadline.

 If the Electricity Authority was a boxer facing Joseph Parker it would have suffered a TKO because overwhelmingly in an Expert Review of Expert Submissions, no expert backs its plan to slug hard pressed regions using a dodgy Area of Benefit analysis.