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$230m Paid To Electricity Commission - For What?

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

4 May 2008 - New Zealand taxpayers have paid the Electricity Commission $230 million over the past four years but have next to nothing to show for it, says National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

"What has the Electricity Commission achieved for that money?

"Apart from huge price increases and an impending power shortage, not much."

The commission is funded by an appropriation from Parliament, recovered by a levy on the electricity industry. Different rates are levied on generators, retailers, lines companies, and Transpower. Since its establishment, it has taken levies consisting of:

2006-7: $79,313,000 2005-6: $76,408,000 2004-5: $55,784,000 2003-4: $18,533,333

"The commission was set up with great fanfare by the Labour Government with the claim that security of supply would be sorted out.

"But, despite sucking an astounding $230 million from consumers, we are sitting on the precipice of a power crisis and paying prices that are 48% higher for an average household than they were when the commission was established. "The pending crisis can be easily dismissed as the result of a series of one-off events, but in reality it's Labour's neglect to grow generation that's to blame.

"The Electricity Commission is a splendid example of wasted expenditure by a Government that has no answer to any problem other than to create a new bureaucracy with still greater cost to New Zealanders.

"So what have they achieved with the $230 million?"

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