web analytics

Geoff Bertram on single-buyer for electricity

Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, February 6th, 2014 - 28 comments
Categories: cost of living, energy - Tags:

Geoff Bertram will analyse prospects for the proposed single-buyer model for electricity on Tuesday 11 February in Wellington. Bertram has previously set out his views on excessive power prices rise for consumers to the Fabian Society and elsewhere.  They are also covered in his chapter in the book Electricity Market Reform: an international perspective presented to an international forum in Germany last year.

This prompted the Government’s Electricity Authority to produce a report last week attacking Bertram’s analysis. Yesterday at a press conference the Authority’s Chief Executive Carl Hansen went further and resorted to a very personal attack on Geoff Bertram. Today’s DomPost reports (not on-line):

Bertram had claimed last year that power ‘consumers had been rorted for a long time’ and that ‘real prices’ for power had doubled since 1985. Last week the Authority issued its own research which it claimed to debunk Bertram’s claims.

At the press conference Hansen went on to attack media commentators, singling out Bertram. ‘He isn’t a very careful analyst. He is often portrayed in the media as a professor. He was never a professor and he was never an economist. He was a geographer. I think it [Bertram’s research] is showing his lack of technical ability.’

When they go personal it shows they are losing it (and the argument). Geoff Bertram is certainly an economist – he has a D.Phil in economics from Oxford University and taught economics at Victoria for 35 years. The chapter which provoked the Electricity Authority was presented to an international forum in Germany last year.

The Authority’s report has also come under one of the most scathing analyses I have seen from the experienced business journalist Tim Hunter in his Chalkie  column earlier in the week. Hunter called the Authority’s report “clever fallacious and deceptive – in other words sophistry”, and went on to say

” Chalkie reckons what we have here is an attempt to justify the huge price rises for households in a politically led effort to discredit the Labour/Green policy. But the upshot is that the authority has discredited itself.

Which makes Geoff’s Fabian presentation on the single buyer policy idea all the more timely. All are welcome to attend  – if you would like to come please register here.

28 comments on “Geoff Bertram on single-buyer for electricity”

  1. srylands 1

    Look this guy has zero credibility. Carl Hansen is a brilliant economist by comparison – he worked at the Treasury.

    Bertram advocated that no worker should paid more than 3 times the lowest wage of any worker in a company, and if they did, should be banned from any government tenders. That says it all.

    The “single buyer” policy will NEVER see the light of day, regardless of the outcome of the next election.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Brilliant economists working at Treasury. 😆

      You can see how credible Hansen is for yourself: he helped design the electricity market failure and has also worked as an enabler for the Business Round Table.

      Partisan hack.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        Bertram has zero credibility for you.
        Well that makes his viewpoint more credible.

      • veutoviper 1.1.2

        I think that s rylands probably knows Hansen’s employment history and background well. And isn’t everyone who has worked for Treasury brilliant? In their minds anyway. (And, to give credit where it is due, I have known a few that were/are; but IMO they tended to be the exception to the rule)

        For others, Hansen’s employment record from Linked In includes being a senior analyst for the NZ Roundtable (1990 – 1992) , Treasury (1996 – 2000) , LECG (2000-02), CEO M-co NZ Ltd ( 2002-09) and then Director Peloris Ltd (2009-10) before becoming CEO of the Electricity Authority.

        EDIT – oops, that should have read Director Paradox Ltd, not Director Peloris Ltd.

    • geoff 1.2

      Look this guy has zero credibility. — srylands

      nuff said.

    • Will@Welly 1.3

      Brill English “worked” at Treasury. Stellar career included one-time leader of the National Party.
      Other notables have seen their policies completely miss the mark. In fact since the neo-liberal experimentation begun, have any of their policies been “right”, other than “right-wing”.
      Failed English theorist/terrorist/oppressor of the poor – Greggor Mal-cluoff – now leads Treasury. His advice is the same as that, that has emanated out of their doors for the past 30 years – sell everything, and cut wages to the poorest, then trim benefits further. And please don’t touch my salary.

    • Ant 1.4

      “Look this guy has zero credibility. Carl Hansen is a brilliant economist by comparison – he worked at the Treasury.”

      LOL

    • Poission 1.5

      “Look this guy has zero credibility. Carl Hansen is a brilliant economist by comparison – he worked at the Treasury.”

      Treasury have shown their level of skill with their forecast modelling,They are obviously very bad at forecasting (especially about the future) hence they have little too add about the underlying qualitative attributes of the data.

      http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/forecasts/befu2007/06.htm

    • Ross 1.6

      Didn’t srylands also work at Treasury? Strange that he or she forgot to mention that. 🙂

  2. Chooky 2

    @srylands……you have to be joking….”Carl Hansen is a brilliant economist by comparison – he worked at the Treasury”

    ….working for New Zealand Treasury is no recommendation…in fact it is the opposite ….most of the time they are either naive and gullible or bought…imo .

    Bertram always made a lot of sense to ordinary NZers with ordinary requirements for electricity …as does Molly Mellich

  3. Philj 3

    Xox
    The speed of your response gives you away, srylands. Brilliant economists and money changers largely got us into this mess, along with marketers. JK was a money changer, still is. Geoff Bertram makes much more sense in the real world that most of us live in. Is this the ‘brilliant’ Treasury economist telling us we have been paying too little for our electricity!? Brilliant comedian more like it. Treasury is suspect imo.

  4. Philj 4

    Xox
    Doesn’t reflect too well on the credibility of the Government Electricity Authority when their spokesman doesn’t have clue, eh? Explains a lot.

  5. Philj 5

    Xox
    Geoff Bertram also has a good video on Ziln explaining the electricity rort in detail, about 45minutes.

  6. geoff 6

    Electricity, food, mortgage/rent, low wages.
    These are the four main ways kiwis are getting ripped off by interests that the National party represents.

  7. hoom 7

    Don’t forget Bertrams’ own response to the EA report http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11193859

    The EA report is utterly laughable due to completely nonsense assumptions then ignoring very obvious facts that show up on their graphs.

    eg from the above linked Chalkie article (OMG I agree with Chalkie about something?!)
    “Applying the average generation cost across a model of consumer types came up with the answer that residential consumers were paying considerably more than cost, while industrial consumer were paying below cost. Woops, wrong answer. ”

    Interesting that Chalkie links current EA boss with NZIER who were used as consultants.

    Frankly these actions & particularly this report prove he is a perfect example of Regulatory Capture & needs to be removed from that position ASAP.

    • veutoviper 7.1

      Bertrams’ response is well worth reading – as are the over 100 comments (sorted by the most liked) even though comments are now closed as pointed out by philj at 7* below.

      * should read 8.

  8. Philj 8

    Xox
    HERALD
    Debate on this article is now
    closed.
    Haha. Too hot to handle Granny Herald?
    The Government has the power to change the system. Is it prepared to use it for the public good? Hmmm…

  9. Blink 9

    Looks like grid-parity will happen quicker than expected.
    What’s the price of PV these days?

  10. fisiani 10

    Nationalising the electricity supply has not worked out for North Korea. Why does anyone think it would work here? No more investment by power companies . What would be the point. Power outages and blackouts that would inevitably follow will not help the economy. Dumb idea.

    • McFlock 10.1

      indeed. Auckland, for example, has never had a blackout…

    • Flip 10.2

      “Nationalising the electricity supply…”

      This is not what is promoted. A single buyer of supply is not nationalisation. Supply competition remains. Read the article before you leap to your prejudices.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.3

      Earth to Fisi. If the electricity supply were nationalised, the “nation” would be the investors.

      • mikesh 10.3.1

        The nation WERE the investors. Nationalization would simply restore the status quo ante.

  11. captain hook 11

    the so called market for electricity is nothing but another deal that was cooked up by the National Party to parcel out the States assets to its mates. There was nothing wrong with the system until national got hold of it. The same thing ahppened in the US and resulted in the ENRON scandal and the staff nearly singking the Wall St Journal and allowing it to be sold off to Rupert.
    Itsa ll a load of shite but the neo-libs keep getting away with it.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Excellent article by Chris Trotter:

    Hence the near panic induced by Geoff Bertram’s analysis of New Zealand’s energy sector in which he sharply criticises the three-decades-worth of price-gouging engaged in by both the publicly- and privately-owned energy companies. So effective was Bertram’s critique that, Carl Hansen, the newly appointed head of the Energy Authority felt obliged to commission a thorough-going rebuttal of the Wellington economist’s research.
    Hearing Bertram deconstruct Hansen’s rebuttal was a true delight. Never before have the absurd assumptions of neoliberal economics been so ruthlessly exposed. Hansen’s understanding of the world appeared to be based on nothing more than the crudest of a priori reasoning. He simply couldn’t conceive of a world driven by ideas and values that had nothing to do with the “weighted average cost of capital” and everything to do with building a nation.

    Ideas do matter and it’s becoming obvious that we need a new idea to replace the failed neo-liberal and capitalist system.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • National’s cuts shave $100K off KiwiSaver by retirement
    New analysis shows National’s constant cuts to KiwiSaver will reduce the average worker’s retirement savings by $100,000 over their working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “The former Labour Government launched KiwiSaver nine years ago today to boost ...
    11 hours ago
  • TPK struggles to measure Whānau Ora outcomes
    The Government needs to explain why so many vulnerable whanau are falling through the cracks, Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. The Minister of Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell attended the Māori Affairs Select Committee to highlight “gains” – ...
    13 hours ago
  • EY: TPP stamp duties on foreigners may have to apply to Kiwis
    The Government’s claim that a TPP-enabled tax on foreign buyers would amount to a ban has been exposed as folly by tax experts, who say that in most cases a tax would apply to Kiwi buyers too, says Labour’s Trade ...
    1 day ago
  • Project 300 short on facts
    A Minister’s pet scheme to employ 300 disabled people in Christchurch seems to be short on facts, says Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Poto Williams.  “Nicky Wagner cannot provide solid evidence to show that her much vaunted Project 300 has actually ...
    1 day ago
  • Who are they going to call?
    A cry for help from New Zealand’s longest-running crisis line highlights chronic underfunding of the sector by the Government, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Lifeline is THE go-to helpline for people in crisis, taking up to 180,000 calls each ...
    2 days ago
  • Five months too long for homeless to wait
    New figures revealing homeless people registered with Work and Income are waiting an average of 155 days to be housed shows the Government is totally overwhelmed by the housing crisis, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “What’s worse is ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister in cloud cuckoo land
    Hekia Parata needs a very big reality check if she truly believes every parent has the choice of sending their child to a private school, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Questioned in the House today about plans to pump ...
    2 days ago
  • Convention centre failure means years of uncertainty for CBD
    The failure of Gerry Brownlee’s planned convention centre deal leaves Christchurch facing uncertainty about when activity will be restored to the CBD, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “As one of the CBD’s major anchor projects, the convention centre complex ...
    2 days ago
  • PCE proves water quality still deteriorating
    The PCE State of the Environment Report shows that river water quality is continuing to get worse across large parts of New Zealand, says Labour’s Environment and Water spokesperson David Parker. “Water quality has deteriorated in Canterbury, Central Otago, Auckland, ...
    2 days ago
  • Families with new babies victims of today’s veto
    Families with new babies are the victims of an historical “first” for the New Zealand Parliament today. “For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because ...
    3 days ago
  • Crime on the rise…again!
    The Police Minister’s contention that Police have enough resources to meet the expectations of New Zealand communities is not reflected in the Police’s own statistics, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Yet again, reported burglaries have increased in every region ...
    3 days ago
  • Private schools beneficiaries of extra cash
    Plans to give more taxpayer money to private schools at a time when state schools are struggling to make ends meet says everything about the National Government’s twisted priorities, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Not only did this year’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Inequality getting worse under National
    Inequality is getting worse under National with almost 60 per cent of the wealth in this country concentrated in the hands of the top 10 per cent according to Statistics NZ figures released today, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    3 days ago
  • Government freezes elderly out of insulation subsidy
    Government cuts to the Warm Up New Zealand insulation subsidy means it will now only be available for rental properties and could leave many elderly homeowners cold this winter, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In this year’s Budget the Government ...
    4 days ago
  • Shewan report delivers rebuke to National
    John Shewan’s report into foreign trusts is a rebuke to John Key and the National Party who have protected an industry that has damaged New Zealand’s reputation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Three years ago the Inland Revenue Department ...
    4 days ago
  • Auckland Airport rail analysis must be made public
    The Government should publicly release its detailed analysis of rail to Auckland Airport before it closes off options, so the public can have an informed debate, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Transport Agency today said it is ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister approved OIO consent despite death and investigations
    Louise Upston must say if she knew Intueri was being prosecuted for the death of a student and under a funding investigation when she approved its overseas investment consent to buy another education provider, says Labour’s Land Information and Associate ...
    5 days ago
  • Brexit vote costs NZ effective EU voice
    Despite being extremely close the result of the referendum in Britain reflects the majority voice, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “While we respect the decision to leave the EU, it goes without saying the move will usher in ...
    1 week ago
  • Pasifika Education Centre doomed
    The Pasifika Education Centre appears doomed to close down this December, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio  “In a written question I asked the Minister whether he would put a bid in for more money. His answer ...
    1 week ago
  • Onetai Station review a shameful whitewash
    A report released today on the Overseas Investment Office’s (OIO) good character test is a whitewash that does nothing to improve New Zealand’s overseas investment regime, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “The review of the good character test ...
    1 week ago
  • We need a national strategy to end homelessness now
    Long before I entered Parliament, housing and homelessness were issues dear to my heart. I know from personal experience just how hard it is to find an affordable home in Auckland. In my maiden speech, I talked about how when ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Capital feels a chill economic wind
      Wellington is on the cusp of recession with a sharp fall in economic confidence in the latest Westpac McDermott Miller confidence survey, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark.  “Economic confidence amongst Wellingtonians has dropped 12% in the past ...
    1 week ago
  • Dive school rort took six years to dredge up
    News that yet another private training establishment (PTE) has rorted the Government’s tertiary funding system since 2009 shows that Steven Joyce has no control of the sector, says Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Like Agribusiness Training and Taratahi, ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s housing crisis hitting renters hard
    National’s ongoing housing crisis is causing massive rental increases, with Auckland renters being hit the hardest, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Government holds Northland back
    New information shows Northland remains the most economically depressed region in New Zealand, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark. “The latest Westpac McDermott Miller regional survey found that more Northlanders believe their local economy will deteriorate this year than ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebstock report into MFAT leaks a disgrace
    An Ombudsman’s report on the Paul Rebstock investigation into MFAT leaks shows the two diplomats at the centre of the case were treated disgracefully, says Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi.  “The Ombudsman says one of the diplomats Derek Leask ...
    1 week ago
  • More families forced to turn to food banks for meals
    Increasing numbers of families are having to go to food banks just to put a meal on the table, according to a new report that should shame the Government into action, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Aussie reforms signal trouble ahead for school funding plan
    Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The signaled return to bulk funding is ...
    1 week ago
  • Toxic Sites – the down low on the go slow
    In  2011, I negotiated an agreement with the National Government to advance work on cleaning up contaminated sites across the country. This included establishing a National Register of the ten worst sites where the creators of the problem could not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Aucklanders face new motorway tax of up to $2500 a year
    The Government wants to tax Aucklanders thousands of dollars a year just to use the motorway network, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Officials estimate the average city commute is 11.8km. This means for the average Aucklander commuting five ...
    1 week ago
  • 15 corrupt bank managers identified in student fraud
    New information show 15 bank managers in India have been identified by Immigration New Zealand as presenting fraudulent documents on behalf of foreign students studying here, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information ...
    1 week ago
  • National leaves Kiwi savers the most vulnerable in OECD
    News last week that Israel’s Finance Minister will insure savers’ bank deposits means New Zealand will be left as the only country in the OECD that has no deposit insurance to protect savers’ funds should a bank fail. Most Kiwis ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Comprehensive plan for future of work needed
    A Massey University study showing many New Zealanders are unaware of the increasing role of automation in their workplace, highlights the need for a comprehensive plan for the future of work, says Grant Robertson, Chair of Labour’s Future of Work ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another National Government failure: 90 day work trials
    On Friday last week, the Treasury released a report by MOTU economic consultants into the effectiveness of the controversial 90-day work trial legislation. The report found that there was “no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Iraq mission extension case not made
    The Prime Minister has not made the case for extending the Iraq deployment another 18 months nor the expansion of their mission, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “Labour originally opposed the deployment because the Iraqi Army’s track record was poor, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Melanoma deaths could be avoided by an early access scheme
      The tragic death of Dunedin’s Graeme Dore from advanced Melanoma underlines the cruelty of this Government in promising a treatment but delaying for months, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “Graeme was diagnosed with Melanoma last year. He used ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Assessing the Defence White Paper
    The Government’s recently released Defence White Paper has raised questions again about New Zealand’s defence priorities, and in particular the level and nature of public funding on defensive capabilities. The Green Party has a longstanding belief that priority must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis’ confidence drops again: Economy needs a boost
    Westpac’s consumer confidence survey has fallen for the seventh time in nine quarters, with middle income households ‘increasingly worried about where the economy is heading over the next few years’, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This survey is a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Relocation grant simply kicks can down the road
    The response by state house tenants and social agencies to the Government’s rushed plan to shift families out of Auckland tells us what we already knew – this is no answer to the chronic housing shortage, Opposition Leader Andrew Little ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Peace hīkoi to Parihaka
    On Friday a Green crew walked with the peace hīkoi from Ōkato to Parihaka. Some of us were from Parliament and some were party members from Taranaki and further afield. It was a cloudy but gentle day and at one ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Children’s Commissioner right to worry about CYF transition
    The Government must listen to the Children’s Commissioner’s concerns that young people under CYF care could be ‘negatively impacted’ as the new agency’s reforms become reality, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. “Dr Russell Wills has used the second annual ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English exaggerates PPL costs to justify veto
    The Finance Minister has used trumped-up costings to justify a financial veto against parents having 26 weeks paid parental leave, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Bill English’s assertion on RNZ yesterday that the measure would cost an extra $280 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must refund overcharged motorists
    Labour is calling on the Government to refund motor registration fees to three-quarters of a million Kiwi motorists whose vehicles were wrongly classified under National’s shambolic ACC motor vehicle risk rating system, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says.“Minister Kaye’s ridiculous ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 90-day work trials an unfair failure which must change
    A new Treasury report shows the Government’s 90-day trials haven’t helped businesses and are inherently unfair, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Motu report found that 90-day trial periods had no impact on overall employment and did not ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere