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Gerry Brownlee

1 November, 2010

New era for the electricity sector

With the Electricity Authority coming into existence today a significant milestone in the government's reforms of the electricity sector has been reached, Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee says.


From today, the Electricity Authority will replace the Electricity Commission and be responsible for promoting competition, reliable supply and efficient operation of the New Zealand electricity market. 


"It is less than a year since the government agreed to the measures to be implemented to improve electricity market performance," Mr Brownlee said. 


"The establishment of the Electricity Authority is one aspect of the changes made to improve governance.


"Other measures, which the Electricity Authority is responsible for advancing, are directed at improving costs, competition and security of supply. 


"I am pleased with the progress that's been made on implementing a complex and far-reaching set of measures that, over time, will deliver a more competitive, responsive and responsible electricity sector for the long-term benefit of all New Zealand electricity consumers," Mr Brownlee said.


The Electricity Industry Bill was introduced into Parliament in December 2009 to implement most of the recommendations of the review.  From today, the Electricity Industry Act 2010 comes into force in its entirety.


"I would like to thank the Electricity Commission, as well as the Commerce Commission, EECA, Transpower, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Electricity Authority Establishment Board, for their support and work into ensuring a tidy and well-managed transition to new governance arrangements and new responsibilities between these organisations," Mr Brownlee said.


An update on progress on implementation of the 2009 ministerial review measures is available on the Ministry of Economic Development's website at www.med.govt.nz/electricity-market-review.


Background


Established as an independent Crown Entity, the Electricity Authority's main functions include:



  • making and administering the rules governing the electricity industry through an Electricity Industry Participation Code;

  • monitoring compliance with the code and other provisions in the Electricity Industry Act and regulations and take enforcement action;

  • undertaking market facilitation measures such as education and providing guidelines, information and model arrangements;

  • industry and market monitoring, and carrying out reviews, studies and inquiries into matters relating to the industry; and

  • contracting for market operation services and system operator services.
  • Gerry Brownlee
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