web analytics

Geoff Bertram on single-buyer for electricity

Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, February 6th, 2014 - 30 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.

30 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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  • Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand to pause
    New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand will be paused while the source of infection of new cases announced in Sydney is investigated, says COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. There are 10 new community cases of COVID-19 today in New South Wales, taking the Australian ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little welcomed Ngāti Rangitihi to Parliament today to witness the first reading of The Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill. “I know it took a lot of hard work, time and patience by all parties involved to reach this significant milestone. I am honoured to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Speech to the Sustainable Healthcare and Climate Health Conference Aotearoa
    Mihi Tēnā tātou katoa Kei ngā pou o te whare hauora ki Aotearoa, kei te mihi. Tēnā koutou i tā koutou pōwhiri mai i ahau. E mihi ana ki ngā taura tangata e hono ana i a tātou katoa, ko te kaupapa o te rā tērā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Infrastructure Acceleration Fund opening for business
    Criteria to access at least $1 billion of the $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund (HAF), announced in March, is now available, and an invitation for expressions of interest will be released on 30 June, Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced.  “This is a key milestone in our plan to accelerate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Bringing back the health of Hauraki Gulf
    New marine protection areas and restrictions on fishing are among a raft of changes being put in place to protect the Hauraki Gulf for future generations. The new strategy, Revitalising the Gulf – Government action on the Sea Change Plan, released today, draws on input from mana whenua, local communities, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Speech to AI Forum – Autonomous Weapons Systems
    AI Forum New Zealand, Auckland Good evening and thank you so much for joining me this evening. I’d like to start with a thank you to the AI Forum Executive for getting this event off the ground and for all their work and support to date. The prospect of autonomous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand boosts support to Fiji for COVID-19 impact
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing additional support to Fiji to mitigate the effects of the current COVID-19 outbreak on vulnerable households, Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “Recognising the increasingly challenging situation in Fiji, Aotearoa will provide an additional package of assistance to support the Government of Fiji and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Round 2 of successful energy education fund now open
    $1.65 million available in Support for Energy Education in Communities funding round two Insights from SEEC to inform future energy hardship programmes Community organisations that can deliver energy education to households in need are being invited to apply for the second funding round of the Support for Energy Education in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Ngarimu scholarships to target vocational training
    Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis today announced three new scholarships for students in vocational education and training (VET) are to be added to the suite of prestigious Ngarimu scholarships. “VET learners have less access to study support than university students and this is a way to tautoko their learning dreams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Recognising the volunteers who support our health system
    Nominations have opened today for the 2021 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards, as part of National Volunteer Week. “We know that New Zealanders donate at least 159 million hours of volunteer labour every year,” Minister of Health Andrew Little said in launching this year’s awards in Wellington. “These people play ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Drug Free Sport supported to deal with new doping challenges
    Drug Free Sport New Zealand will receive a funding boost to respond to some of the emerging doping challenges across international sport. The additional $4.3 million over three years comes from the Sport Recovery Fund announced last year. It will help DFSNZ improve athletes’ understanding of the risks of doping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government support for South Auckland community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to support Auckland communities impacted by the Papatoetoe tornado, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says. “My heart goes out to the family and friends who have lost a loved one, and to those who have been injured. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Celebrating World Refugee Day
    World Refugee Day today is an opportunity to celebrate the proud record New Zealanders have supporting and protecting refugees and acknowledge the contribution these new New Zealanders make to our country, the Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi said. “World Refugee Day is also a chance to think about the journey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Food and fibres sector making significant strides towards New Zealand’s economic recovery
    The Government is backing the food and fibres sector to lead New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 with targeted investments as part of its Fit for a Better World roadmap, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said. “To drive New Zealand’s recovery, we launched the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
    Check against delivery Can I begin by acknowledging the 51 shuhada, their families and the Muslim community. It is because of the atrocious violent act that was done to them which has led ultimately to this, the start of a dialogue and a conversation about how we as a nation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First period products delivered to schools
    The first period products funded as part of the Government’s nationwide rollout are being delivered to schools and kura this week, as part of wider efforts to combat child poverty, help increase school attendance, and make a positive impact on children’s wellbeing. “We know that nearly 95,000 9-to-18 year olds ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago