New Electricity SOE Brings Cheaper Wholesale Power

  • Tony Ryall
State Owned Enterprises

SOE Minister, Tony Ryall, today officially opened the Manukau City headquarters of baby-ECNZ Genesis Power Limited.

Genesis is one of the three electricity generation and retail companies formed from the former ECNZ on 1 April this year as part of the Government's plan to give New Zealanders a better deal on electricity.

"Following the ECNZ split in April, wholesale power prices fell dramatically" said Mr Ryall, speaking in Manukau. 'The Government's electricity plan is about trying to get those lower wholesale prices passed on to retail customers'.

"The Government plans to bring retail prices down still further with the introduction of price controls on some natural monopoly lines companies.

"Unfortunately, for consumers, Labour is supporting these monopoly lines companies in agreeing to oppose lines control legislation.

"Labour wants a so-called price freeze that will allow lines companies to lock in excessive charges.

"The monopoly lines companies sought this from the Government in May but we rejected it then.

"Labour's position is unfortunate but typical of a party scrambling after a week of bumbling by leading spokespeople like accident-prone Ruth Dyson, Jim Sutton and Dr Cullen.

"What we do know is that Pete Hodgson and Helen Clark have fallen out over of this Labour Party u-turn. The short-tempered Mr Hodgson feels Helen Clark has pulled the carpet from beneath him. I would have thought she would have had more regard for the strategist behind Labour's last three election campaigns.

"At present wholesale prices are around one third of what they were before the split up of ECNZ.

"So far the Government's electricity plan has brought the option of cheaper
retail power prices to 55 percent of New Zealand consumers. An extra 20
percent of consumers are paying the same power prices they were before the
reforms" said Mr Ryall.


Media Contact: Bryan Smith 04-471-9219 025-332-826

Notes To Editor:

Genesis Power Limited is an electricity generating company and retailer with $746 million of assets. The company owns seven power stations throughout the North Island including the Huntly Power Station, Tongariro Power Scheme, Waikaremoana Power Scheme and the Hau Nui wind farm in the Wairarapa. It can generate more than 1500MW of power on demand; about 18 percent of New Zealand's generation capacity.

Genesis has a 25.75 percent interest in the Kupe gas field. It operates a retail division with more than 155,000 customers throughout the North Island in Wairarapa, Manawatu, Taranaki and Wanganui. Genesis employs around 200 staff.