Labour lies on power prices

July 7th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Radio NZ reports:

Infrastructure investor Infratil says the Party’s portrayal of how much New Zealand electricity prices have gone up in the past three years is misleading.

A graph on Labour leader David Shearer’s Facebook page – using Government data for 14 countries – shows New Zealand was one of only two where electricity prices rose between 2009 – 2012.

Bruce Harker, the head of Infratil’s manager’s energy team and TrustPower chairman, said the list of countries put forward by Labour omits Australia, where electricity prices have risen much more than in New Zealand.

Dr Harker said the comparisons being made are misleading and although if it’s converted to New Zealand dollars it appears the electricity price has fallen in other countries, the reason for that is that the New Zealand dollar has appreciated so much over that period of time.

He said consumers in Britain, Denmark or Norway would say their prices have gone up 15% – 20% in that period.

That’s outraegous – to use exchange rate changes to make it appear have not shifted in other countries. Intellectually absolutely dishonest. Unless consumers in Denmark and Norway pay their power bills in NZ dollars, it is meaningless. The graph should show the actual increases in each country.

Labour finance spokesperson David Parker, a former minister of energy, concedes power prices have gone up more in other countries than in New Zealand.

So Parker admits Labour lied.

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41 Responses to “Labour lies on power prices”

  1. dog_eat_dog (743 comments) says:

    There really needs to be an Electoral Commission charge for falsehoods, especially ones that are paid for by Parliamentary funds.

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  2. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Woeful. Perhaps they actually do need a #manban?

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  3. Manolo (13,341 comments) says:

    Chalk up another fuck-up on Captain Mumblefuck’s plate.

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  4. Mike Readman (356 comments) says:

    Why do power prices keep going up much faster than general inflation, both here and overseas? Is it because power generators have a virtual monopoly? I doubt their expenses are going up much.

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  5. Paulus (2,499 comments) says:

    For Labour to lie is an eye opener.
    Wow – who would have thought of it of them ?
    Perhaps ManBans will help as women!!! are more consummate liars.

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  6. Ross Miller (1,661 comments) says:

    Does anyone else think that Shearer is being set up from within? The reality is that he is unlikely to have authored the post … and then, to have his Finance Spokesthing (not allowed to call it a ‘man’) dump on it big time, speaks volumes.

    No, it appears that darker forces (as opposed to dark) in the Labour Party are at work actively undermining the leadership ably assisted by Mr Shearer who, to borrow an epithet applied to another Labour leader long gone, is increasingly acting like a shiver looking for a spine.

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  7. stigie (903 comments) says:

    DPF, there needs to be an enquiry into all of this .

    This is bullshit again coming from the far left !!

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  8. ChrisM (92 comments) says:

    I don’t know about Norway, but in both the UK and Denmark, the power price has gone up because of Green energy levies – the cost of installing and operating wind turbines. In the UK now, that levy has been calculated at about NZ$400 per household per year. The levies are going to go up a lot more there to pay for the capital expansion programme needed to build more wind turbines and nukes. This is because the UK Government is going to shut a lot of coal fired stations to meet the EU emission targets. Their biggest station, Drax, is being converted to run on woodchips imported from clearfelling US forests. It is likely that the charges could be 5x higher by 2020 and 8x by 2030 if the present policies are kept. Fuel poverty in Europe is now a real and increasing issue
    The other thing not talked about by Labour is that the Californian Government has introduced time of day charges with the smart power meters. That means in the recent high demand periods, households were paying $1 per unit. That change here would mean the most expensive power would be about 7pm on a frosty winters night. Not a period when there would be much discretionary spending.

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  9. marcw (227 comments) says:

    The only thing that helps is that only the seriously deluded would even be interested in Mr Shearer’s Facebook page, and then only a fraction of them who even knew how to find it.

    Got to laugh at the latest play on the man-ban – being renamed the Labia Party in the blogosphere. :)

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  10. Akld Commercial Lawyer (160 comments) says:

    And DPF should also note that the data conflates the wholesale price of electricity and the line charges. In the case of the latter, we are paying for a catch up of more than a decade of under-investment in grid assets by Transpower. In that period, it was constrained in what it could spend by way of grid upgrades.

    Now, under the stewardship of Patrick Strange, and with what appears to be a much more strategic relationship with its shareholder, Transpower has planned upgrades over more than a decade – and all of this is mapped out very clearly in a document that is publicly available by means of the Transpower website. That background data is there too.

    But that would be too much to explain via the MSM or for those with a political agenda. Sadly, the MSM have been quoting the very likeable, but left-leaning, economist – Dr Small as supporting the Power NZ myth.

    All very shoddy and a reason why we deserve a better opposition. By all means argue the big policy issues (although Chris Trotter seems to suggest that the present lot are incapable of steeping up to the plate) but do so honestly. A collision of eat the rich and anti-growth philosophies, can’t seem to spot the difference. No wonder they make a hash of the entirely logical idea of developing policies to get more women in the corridors of power – and end up making themselves look like they are pumping 2nd class appointees. Tragic.

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  11. Shunda barunda (2,965 comments) says:

    This isn’t a mistake, it’s a calculated plan to deliberately deceive the NZ public.

    When a political party is found to be operating with deliberate deception like this there should be huge consequences, it is corrupt, it is as simple as that.

    Welcome to the f@cking political left and their born to lead presumption that justifies gaining control at any cost.

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  12. Chris R (65 comments) says:

    Energy prices in NZ are modest. I suggest the know-it-all lefties check prices for electricity and gas in South Africa, UK and Australia before gasping more bullshit on this topic. Domestic power and gas prices in Western Australia, where I spend 50% of my time, are bitingly tough to meet and that’s after the rapacious treatment of the taxman.

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  13. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    And John Key doesn’t lie ?

    Big fucking deal… HOLD THE PRESS, HOT NEWSFLASH

    POLITICIANS LIE…awww noes, say it ain’t so

    *Yawn*…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

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  14. nasska (10,636 comments) says:

    Washed out Fa’afafine with a Sore Tummy

    The difference is that your lot have turned simple lying into an art form. :)

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  15. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    They’re not my lot…nasswipe

    And no, in politics, there is no difference.

    A lie is a lie is a lie, no matter who says it.

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  16. UpandComer (506 comments) says:

    haha. This is egregious. Do these people really think no one will find out about their lies? That’s a whopper given that their policy is basically their central plank. That would be like saying the price of meat/rice hasn’t risen in Afghanistan or Algeria or whatever basketcase country Labour are borrowing their ideas from this morning, ‘when converted into NZ dollar terms’. The intellectual dishonesty is very strong.

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  17. OneTrack (2,589 comments) says:

    Mike Readman – “Why do power prices keep going up much faster than general inflation, both here and overseas? Is it because power generators have a virtual monopoly? I doubt their expenses are going up much.”

    And absolutely nothing to do with the wind power and lternative energy schemes that governments around the world have required them to install. Nothing at all.

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  18. OneTrack (2,589 comments) says:

    Labour – liars and/or incompetent. I know, lets vote them in to run the country. What could go wrong?

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  19. Lance (2,444 comments) says:

    To Mike Readman and others wondering why power prices have gone up….

    The (various types of) power companies need to build infrastructure to maintain supply.
    E.g Another ‘pole’ or in laymans terms an entire NEW extra cook strait cable has just been finished… let me tell you that aint cheap at $700 million. There are new generation plants opening from time to time and yes they are not cheap either not to mention upgraded national grid etc.

    This has to be paid for or the power goes off.

    Some politicians pretend this money doesn’t actually have to be spent, but they are full of shit.

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  20. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    David Farrar thinks that power price rises at 5 times the rate of inflation is good? Nah, can’t be.

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  21. Yoza (1,530 comments) says:

    This is how far out of touch many here are. People don’t need to be told how expensive their electricity and gas prices are as they are having it rammed down their throats courtesy of their monthly energy bill.

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  22. Yoza (1,530 comments) says:

    Lance (2,027) Says:
    July 7th, 2013 at 3:54 pm
    “To Mike Readman and others wondering why power prices have gone up….”

    Power prices have risen for residential users to pay for cheaper power prices to business users.

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  23. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Interesting that Mr Farrar conveniently omitted the line:

    “He said New Zealand prices for power from cheap hydro stations should not have risen as much as they have.”

    On the plus side, any workers wanting wage increases of 5 times the rate of inflation will have Mr Farrar’s support.

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  24. Yoza (1,530 comments) says:

    It’s will not be very hard selling the nationalisation of the power grid and distribution franchises to the victims of the price gouging extortion racket being carried out by private electricity companies when push comes to shove.

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  25. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @Yoza,

    Except it is not the private electricity companies that have been charging the highest prices – DPF has posted the figures previously that showed that the State-owned companies were charging more.

    All the more reason to dilute State ownership – our recent history shows consumers will get a better deal.

    Or do you somehow know better than the experiential evidence in NZ?

    Your nationalization plan would be as successful as the Soviet economy

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  26. Keeping Stock (10,097 comments) says:

    @ Ross69 4.48pm – so Parker admits to one lie, and we are supposed to believe everything else he says? Give me a flippin’ break; Labour is just playing us for suckers.

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  27. Yoza (1,530 comments) says:

    bhudson (3,898) Says:
    July 7th, 2013 at 4:58 pm
    @Yoza,

    “Except it is not the private electricity companies that have been charging the highest prices – DPF has posted the figures previously that showed that the State-owned companies were charging more.

    All the more reason to dilute State ownership – our recent history shows consumers will get a better deal.

    Or do you somehow know better than the experiential evidence in NZ?

    Your nationalization plan would be as successful as the Soviet economy”

    Utter crap, the price gouging racket occurred after the adoption of the corporate model and privatisation of the regional/municipal energy companies.

    Allowing vital services, like the electricity distribution racket, to fall into the hands of private criminal networks was one of the most treasonous acts ever committed against the people of this country.

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  28. wreck1080 (3,726 comments) says:

    I’d suppose it does say that NZ has become a more expensive place to live relative to other countries.

    It’s OK though, with all available overseas borrowings being poured into nonproductive Auckland property such that it now costs 1 million or so for an 80 sqm hovel the exchange rate will eventually adjust to reflect this.

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  29. gopolks (102 comments) says:

    Huh, labour lies about something? That hasnt happen before.

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  30. UpandComer (506 comments) says:

    Yoza, no, you’re spiel is utter crap. The high prices were encouraged by the Labour party as a pseudo tax. Allowing vital services, like electricity distribution, to fall into the hands of the left, is one fo the most treasonous acts ever committed against the people of this country. Fixed it for you.

    Also, Please understand that one of the reasons the ‘five times the rate of inflation’ comment is even possible, is solely because inflation is so low! unlike under Labour when the interest rates were raping everybody.

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  31. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @Yoza,

    As usual, don’t let the facts get in the way of your theory.

    If you look around at power pricing you will see that the highest prices in NZ are not the privately owned companies – that was the claim you made.

    The only crap is the ideology you are wedded to.

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  32. Manolo (13,341 comments) says:

    A lie is a lie is a lie, no matter who says it.

    The “Pasifika” oracle has spoken with the terseness known to his ilk.

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  33. KevinH (1,131 comments) says:

    Graphs , tables and spin won’t disguise the fact that energy prices to retail consumers have exponentially increased in the last five years, and under the privatisation model will be set to increase further.

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  34. ChrisM (92 comments) says:

    KevinH

    Do you know what exponentially means or is your head just spinning? Other than in your own mind, do you have any evidence for your statement on the last five years or are you just Yoza’s sock puppet?

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  35. Zapper (925 comments) says:

    ChrisM

    He doesn’t know what exponential means, clearly.

    But by his definition, I wonder what he’d call the price rise from 1999-2008?

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  36. KevinH (1,131 comments) says:

    ChrisM

    Take a look at your own power costs in the last 5 years. My experience is an increase of 15%.

    You seem to be a bit of a wiseguy, what rock have you been hiding under?, or are you just stupid.

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  37. Yoza (1,530 comments) says:

    bhudson (3,900) Says:
    July 7th, 2013 at 5:39 pm
    @Yoza,

    As usual, don’t let the facts get in the way of your theory.

    *Yawn*

    Not according to Victoria University researcher Geoff Bertram, who points out that New Zealand’s power prices are now more than twice what they were 30 years ago, in real terms.

    “In the United States, Britain, Japan, France and South Korea, inflation-adjusted power prices are below what they were in the mid-1980s.

    In South Korea’s case, they are almost 50 per cent lower.

    Australia, Germany and Canada’s prices are slightly up and the European OECD countries are paying virtually the same as they were in 1985.

    Bertram said New Zealand customers were being ripped off because, unlike most countries, there was no regulator keeping tabs on power prices.

    “These guys have the market power and they are using it.”

    New Zealanders pay substantially more for power than consumers across the Tasman.

    In 2010, Australians were paying 14.83c per kwh, while in New Zealand power was retailing for between 22.7c and 24.97c per kwh.

    Bertram said that for several years, power companies were revaluing their assets on paper and using that as a basis to increase their prices.

    A profitability analysis of Meridian, Genesis and Mighty River conducted by Ernst and Young in 2011 estimated that economic profit totalled $3.8 billion between 2002 and 2011, on total revenues of $42 billion.

    Their invested capital rose from $4 billion in 2002 to nearly $12 billion in 2011 but most of this increase – $6.2 billion, according to the companies’ annual reports – was asset revaluations, with less than $2 billion representing the historic cost of net actual investment.”

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  38. OneTrack (2,589 comments) says:

    KevinH – assume you mean 15% total. If so, that is something like 2.7% increase per year which isn’t out of the ball park compared to the inflation rate. However your power bill would include Transpower charges which,as I understand it, have been a major component of the bills over the last few years, primarily due to the necessity for them to catch up on the under-investment that was made before 2008. What are your plans for reducing those charges – putting off maintenance again? Does NZ Power cover Transpower? If not, why not?

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  39. OneTrack (2,589 comments) says:

    Yoza -are you really suggesting that we start burning more coal so we can generate power like the Australians do?

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  40. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Oh Yoza,

    It’s will not be very hard selling the nationalisation of the power grid and distribution franchises to the victims of the price gouging extortion racket being carried out by private electricity companies

    Your words – that the privately owned companies are price gouging and that State ownership would bring lower prices. Not backed up by the facts however.

    Just to help: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/11/goff_fibs_on_power_prices.html

    As for your most recent attempt at deflection, it is not surprising that you would find something from Bertram purporting to back Labour up – he was one of the very few commentators to agree with the Labour-Greens announcement.

    It also looks like he’s made the same mistake that Infratil pointed out that Labour made. It’s quite possible he was one of the sources for their flawed claims.

    (You might even be able to open your eyes long enough to see that even David Parker has admitted their latest claims are incorrect – as quoted in DPF’s post.)

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  41. Rosa19 (22 comments) says:

    that would be truly insightful is a comparison between whole sale electricity price increases and natural gas, its a substitute and produced in competitive markets …

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