web analytics
The Standard

Labour’s electricity reforms will be bold

Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, April 16th, 2013 - 59 comments
Categories: energy, greens, labour - Tags: , ,

As covered here yesterday, Labour has signaled that they intend to reform the electricity market so as to lower prices for consumers.

The initial announcement signaled little detail, and the usual critics and spinsters squawked as usual that Labour wouldn’t or couldn’t deliver. Well they’re wrong. David Shearer (ht TRP in comments) has the following post on Facebook:

This Thursday at noon Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman and I will hold a joint press conference to unveil policies to bring down power prices and give Kiwi households some financial relief.

Here’s my prediction. This announcement will be bold. Capital gains tax bold. KiwiBuild bold. Labour isn’t planning to sit around and wait for the next election to fall in to their laps, they are going to be offering, in collaboration with the Greens where possible, a clear and strong alternative. The announcement on Thursday will be part of that strategy.

59 comments on “Labour’s electricity reforms will be bold”

  1. Coronial Typer 1

    The cooperation is good, but…

    If Greens/Labour announce effectively killing the tradeable electricity market here, will they explain the impact that will have on the value of the company assets they inherit and the income they will be able to spend in their already limited budget?

    Or is there another announcement due showing how they will fill the budget hole they are creating?

    • r0b 1.1

      The more that assets get sold off, the less that the income from those assets matters to the government…

      • Coronial Typer 1.1.1

        Exactly the opposite: the less income they have from dividends, the less they have to spend on citizens. As you will have seen, the budgets are tight for some tight for some time.

        But my particular point is: they will now be co~owners, and they need to be responsible shareholders (particularly if they don’t have the cash or will to buy them back), and wilfully destroying shareholder value is irresponsible both to the government’s future accounts and to those who invest.

        Buyer beware is fine, so long as a future government realises that they are just another shareholder, and need to show that they are calculating the risks to their own accounts. Or they are irresponsible and damaging to everyone’s interests be they direct or indirect owners.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          You’re speaking of the Crown as an asset owner.

          Let’s speak of the Crown as the Sovereign.

          • Coronial Typer 1.1.1.1.1

            You see, in a partial sale they are less so. Power shifts from state to regulators. It is the worst of all worlds that the ambit of state sovereignty shrinks further, and the market grows. This is the pattern since the first privatisation. Government will no longer be able to clearly separate legislative force from its financial interests, which are now tested not by democracy but by the private sector stock exchange. Clearly that it what National wants; a state as mere regulator. Shearer and Norman will need to step with real precision.

        • Murray Olsen 1.1.1.2

          When we have a country full of kids and pensioners who are sick because they can’t pay their power bills, the dividends and anyone wanting to profit off electricity supply, whether local or foreign, can take a long walk off a short wharf.
          I am far, far more interested in keeping people clothed, sheltered, and healthy than I am in the greed of a few investors. Even talking about profits and dividends puts us on a slippery slope to doubling charges, or worse. These are obscene words and anyone on the left who utters them without spitting when it comes to people’s health should wash their mouth out with industrial grade drain cleaner and a wire brush.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      Labour says their plans are fully costed.

      • BM 1.2.1

        Like kiwi build?

        • Bunji 1.2.1.1

          KiwiBuild is well costed – it needn’t and doesn’t cost anything long-term, just makes good use of Government purchase power and mass production to massively reduce prices before selling the houses at just above cost (covering the intervening interest).

      • King Kong 1.2.2

        Hopefully it wasn’t David Cunliffe who did the costings. After the way he hung Goff out to dry in the last election you can bet he would do the same thing to Shearer.

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.2.1

          Didn’t you hear? It was actually a Russian/Irish plot, the miscalculated unremembered numbers.

      • Coronial Typer 1.2.3

        Looking forward to that. As will every broker. This is a great political spike but an appalling signal to local shareholders to give up and let the foreigners take it all.

        • Bunji 1.2.3.1

          Surely foreign shareholders, driven purely by profit, will be more affected than local shareholders by any announcement that prices and profits will be reduced?

          • Coronial Typer 1.2.3.1.1

            Not with the degree of information asymmetry that the institutions are getting from the selected brokers, compared to locals. Those with a patriotic chequebook are being kneecapped.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.3

      One obvious way: by reducing prices to citizens and local industry, they will reduce the amount of profit going straight offshore, which will instead boost the local economy and provide greater tax revenue as a result.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Bold is good.

    PS capital gains tax initiative got the support of a lot of mainstream economists and financial commentators (and apparently us and Turkey are virtually the only places without a CGT?) = it may have felt bold, but by definition it was not bold enough.

    • r0b 2.1

      It wasn’t bold economically, but it was bold politically.

      • quartz 2.1.1

        My understanding is that this is the Greens policy and that Labour are piggybacking it. Is this an attempt to get in early for Labour?

        • Blahsteve 2.1.1.1

          This is what I heard too.

        • Te Reo Putake 2.1.1.2

          It’s a joint proposal, who cares whose idea it was first? And if Labour are picking up on Green proposals, that’s yet another reason to celebrate IMHO.

        • irascible 2.1.1.3

          In all likelihood the policy announcement has been coordinated based on an initiative coming, like Phil Twyford’s ongoing Auckland transport campaign, from Labour strategists then spun by the Greens to be theirs??

    • Bunji 2.2

      in OECD it’s us+Turkey+Switzerland without CGT.

      Wonderfully progressive – something like 90+% is paid by top 1-2% wealthiest…

  3. BM 3

    My guess is they’re going to announce some new emission tax .

    • King Kong 3.1

      Power will be made free to households and small/medium enterprises.

      Funding will come through NZ becoming the leading exporter of dream catchers and healing crystals internationally. A state of the art production facility will be built in Nelson including the largest comercial drum circle studio in the Southern Hemisphere.

      • The Al1en 3.1.1

        Good, and I hope plenty of rich pricks drop by and see how much fun we’ll be having when we’re playing with their money.

  4. James 4

    I’m, um guessing that, um there, um will be nothing, um in it.

  5. tarkwin 5

    I hope he succeeds. Even if he found a way to stop increases it would improve his popularity no end. No doubt the Greens will be pushing their ETS scheme hard, so it’s hard to see how a Labour/Green coalition will finance this.

    • Pete 5.1

      It will be interesting to see the next polls, whenever they’re due. If the opposition hasn’t gained much traction from the past two weeks, I can’t imagine there’d be much success in 2014.

  6. Te Reo Putake 6

    Cheers for the hat tip r0b and thanks for the post. For me, the important thing about this joint announcement isn’t so much the plan to lower power prices, but the message it sends to the voting public that the next Government is going to be Labour + Greens. The lesson from the first Clark election win is that if we present a coherent alternative Government at a time when the public is going off the incumbent, then we win.

    It really is that simple.

    National are fast losing coalition options, we are firming up ours. Their leader is looking more and more desperate and dissembling, our leaders are looking more and more focussed and forward looking. It has been a slow grind getting to the point where the alternative is clear, but I think we’re there now.

    • King Kong 6.1

      Certainly paints NZ First into a corner so I don’t know how smart it is setting out your coalition stall so early in the piece.

    • r0b 6.2

      Agreed on all counts.

      • quartz 6.2.1

        Then why is the pitch here all about “labour’s” policy rather than “The Greens and Labour’s” policy?

    • Coronial Typer 6.3

      +100
      Spot on again today TRP

    • Peter 6.4

      Well, it does send that message, but it also sends the message that Shearer can’t perform without Norman there, and there are still plenty of people who worry about tail wagging dog syndrome with the Greens.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.4.1

        The Greens can expect to be supplying 25 – 30% of the seats in a Labour/Green coalition.

        That’s a lot more than a “tail”.

        • AmaKiwi 6.4.1.1

          25% to 30%? I think you underestimate. Why vote for Shearer when you can party vote Green and in so doing help oust National AND promote a more left wing government? Electorate vote Labour. Party vote Greens.

    • ianmac 6.5

      Good one TRP.

  7. Peter 7

    I may have word-eating to do, depending on how bold the announcement is. With Norman there I have some hope it’ll be something more than round four of tinkering with the market rules.

  8. Enough is Enough 8

    Shearer quite simply has to nail this.

    If he comes out and with a vague Mumblefuck policy that lacks clear detail he will be set on by bully boy Key and the ‘National’ media.

    His record to date suggests he will struggle to articulate himself, perhaps the reason why Norman will be there.

    In any case good luck David. We expect something damn good.

  9. geoff 9

    Bold = dismantling the bogus market system that Mad Max Bradford created.

    Nationalise what you need to and give every household an annual rebate on their electricity bill of ~8000kWh.
    If you use more, you pay for it.

    Simple.

    Job done.

  10. CraigM 10

    Look i have never heard such drivel from Shearer , in fact he is getting worse , you seriously need leadership , you do not get it kiwis are happy to sell assets ! why not accept that the majority of Kiwis grasp economics ?? i am not taking the pi## but really labour polies need a fair boot , the greens are taking all of your vote , cmmon give us blues some decent competition at the next election not a walk in the park. !!!

  11. Populuxe1 11

    I’m still trying to proccess “Shearer” and “bold” in the same concept… And not getting very far

  12. UpandComer 12

    I guess this will mean that power prices will rise astronomically under Labour, again, in real and relative terms, because that is what always happens and has happened.

  13. hush minx 13

    Labour has an easy defence against the suggestion that they are just piggy backing of the Greens – if Shearer is front and centre explaining the policy and how it fits into Labour’s then it’s sealed as his success.

  14. Sonny 14

    Well when Labour was in power last Electricity went up by 72% They did nothing about it.. Why now this Bluster?

    • Te Reo Putake 14.1

      72% in 9 years?

      • felix 14.1.1

        Don’t worry about the numbers, they’re dinimic.

        The point is that if you haven’t done something before, that means you can never ever do it.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          Although having a robust centralised not for profit electricity system is something I do recall NZ having done in the not too distant past.

  15. So the Greens and Labour are going to be making joint policy statements well ahead of the next election, showing how they can work sensibly together now, offering an alternative government in waiting to the electorate and debunking one of the nat’s main campaign angles at the same time. Nice work.

    Glad some one was listening, but shame you couldn’t have written back a year ago and said thanks for the fucking great idea, now what else have you got for us, Hlm? 😆

  16. millsy 16

    I keenly await Thursday. My power bill taking up more and more of my income, I am keen for something beyond relying on ‘competition’.

    Some form of central co-ordination/planning sounds good to me, as well as allowing lines companies to become generators and retailers and vice versa.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Auditor-General exposes Key’s scapegoating of Council
    The National Government's blaming of Auckland Council for the city’s housing crisis has been exposed as scapegoating in the Office of the Auditor-General’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Auditor-General says Auckland Council’s part in fixing the… ...
    1 hour ago
  • Reform – not money – needed for meat sector
    The National Government continues to throw good money after bad at the meat industry instead of addressing the fundamental problem of its dysfunctional structure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The latest Primary Growth Partnership grant to the venison… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Government cuts corners on school bus funding
    The safety of children – not cost cutting – should be the main objective behind the Government’s funding of school buses, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Buried in the detail of this year’s Budget are $19 million of funding… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Women the losers under National’s cuts
    National’s poor performance in appointing women to state sector boards is set to get worse with funding cuts to the nomination service provided by the Ministry for Women, Labour’s Woman’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Minister for Women Louise Upston… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Help sought by agencies now asked to help
    The organisation Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has tasked with setting up an emergency hotline for stranded Relationships Aotearoa clients has just lost a bid for a government contract to launch a new national helpline, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Wellington got loud again on climate
    On Monday night, in Wellington, I attended the last of the Government’s climate target consultation meetings. It was quite well attended with maybe 150 people, not bad for a second meeting with very little notice and, as far as I… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 hours ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    21 hours ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    22 hours ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    22 hours ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    23 hours ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    1 day ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    1 day ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    1 day ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    2 days ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    2 days ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    4 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    4 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    5 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    5 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    5 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    5 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    5 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    5 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    5 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    6 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    6 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    6 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    1 week ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    1 week ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    1 week ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 week ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    1 week ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    1 week ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere