Labour and the Greens get their beans from the Herald editorial writer:
Earlier this week, a Herald editorial suggested people thinking of buying Mighty River Power shares had little to fear from David Shearer’s statement that the Labour Party planned to shake up the electricity market when next in power. That, however, was before it was known how far back in time Labour planned to travel and how errant its policy would be. The details, released yesterday, have serious implications for the profitability of the state-owned power companies to be partly sold by the Government. A 3 per cent fall in Contact Energy’s share price soon after Mr Shearer’s announcement confirmed as much.
It really is a 1930s command economy solution not unlike Soviet Russia would employ. Worse it wiped $190 million off the value of power companies overnight, a nice little landmine from Labour and the Greens for Kiwisaver accounts.
Labour proposes to set up a single buyer, NZ Power, to purchase all electricity generation at what it deems a fair price, based on the actual cost of production. This, it says, will reduce the average household’s power bill by between $230 and $330 a year, a 10 per cent drop. Among its myriad functions, NZ Power would also be able to direct generators to use available capacity, and play a key planning role, including determining future investment needs for both generation and transmission. It would run a tender process for new generation, signing long-term contracts, so successful bidders received what was considered a fair return on their investment. Read more »