Audrey’s history lesson

As Winston rails against power prices, and blames then on the , Audrey Young dips into history to remind us that NZ First voted for and supported the reforms!

Mr Peters cranked up similar sentiment in his keynote speech to his party's annual conference on July 20.

“With power prices going through the roof, why are we not amalgamating the power companies created during the mindless National Party reforms?”

Mindless National Party reforms? Max Bradford? Yes, but Mr Peters has created the fiction that First opposed them.

In fact Mr Bradford had strong support at the time from National's coalition partner from December 1996 to August 1998, New Zealand First.

Now was this grudging support?

And not just the sort of passive support a party gives when it might be swallowing a dead rat or a dead fish of a policy.

When Mr Bradford as Energy Minister held a press conference to announce his reforms, New Zealand First deputy leader and energy spokesman was at his side.

Mr Brown, who is still energy spokesman and deputy leader of New Zealand First, said during the third reading: “This bill will deliver cheaper power prices for the consumer. It will start with the split of ECNZ. With the baby ECNZs, Contact Energy and the private generators, we will have true competition in this country for wholesale electricity … and efficiency will come in, and the price will go down. The splitting of the lines and the energy business will ensure that the price will go through to the consumer at a lower level. That will be a win-win situation for the consumer.”

Sounds like hearty support to me.

Audrey concludes:

So the next time Mr Peters asks an audience “who did it?” the full answer is that he could not have done it without New Zealand First.

More journalists should do this. The major parties are held to account for their voting record, but often NZ First attacks something that they voted for previously, and it escapes without scrutiny.

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