NZ First Saves Kiwis At Least $78.4M In Electricity Authority Back Down

New Zealand First says the political pressure it has applied, has forced the Electricity Authority to defer at least $78.4m worth of new charges faced by consumers and businesses.

“This is a minimum $78.4m back flip by the government and its willing servants at the Electricity Authority,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“We say it is a minimum of $78.4 million because larger power users faced swingeing power price hikes too.  The value of this deferral to Northland alone, will save consumers and businesses some $10.6 million this year.

“It is a red-letter day for the consumers and business of Northland, Auckland, flood-hit Eastern Bay of Plenty, Ashburton and the West Coast. 

“Fear of this new pricing regime led to a pulp mill at Kaikohe being shelved and the loss of hundreds of new  jobs in Northland.

“While politics does work the only way to make this permanent is to put New Zealand First into a strong position at this year’s election.  The Electricity Authority has only been made to kick this proposal into the long grass of 2018 which, of course, is post-election.

“So to give New Zealanders some idea of what NZ First has done publicly, let alone behind the scenes, we have:

 Released 13 media releases;
 Written and had published editorials;
 Lodged nine written parliamentary questions;
 Asked four Oral Parliamentary Questions between 17 June 2015 up until the last sitting week before the current recess; and
 Raised this in two Parliamentary General Debates.

“It also further raises serious questions about the value of the Electricity Authority, its highly rewarded staff and board members as well as the three Ministers who have held the Energy portfolio.

“They’ve spent five years busily achieving absolutely nothing.  And when New Zealand First pointed out their methodology was wrong they arrogantly argued that it was right. They now conveniently say their ‘Oakley Greenwood model’ is defective and that’s why they are kicking the decision process beyond the upcoming election.

“It is time for a reset and New Zealand First’s saving of at least $78.4m tells Kiwis all they need to know about what New Zealand First can do, even from Opposition,” says Mr Peters.