More than half a million houses will have their winter power bills partially paid for under a new Green Party policy to slash bills by up to $300 a year.
Rather ironic as making something cheaper means people use more of it, and so the Greens will be increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
The policy has noticeably scrapped the platform Labour and the Greens stood on during the 2014 election campaign – to establish a national “Pharmac style” purchaser, to buy all electricity generation on behalf of the country.
That was a terrible terrible policy. It was a de facto nationalisation of the entire generating industry, and government imposed price controls.
Their new policy is miles miles better than their old policy.
Business NZ manager for energy, environment and infrastructure John Carnegie said the policy was a “thoughtful reassessment of the NZ Power proposal”.
“They’ve been working with us and the rest of the sector, to get their views on board. So we think it’s a steady solid, return.”
There were parts of the policy that “pushed the edges”.
“The proposal to ban new thermal power stations in an effort to get to 100 per cent renewable energy – but other than that, we’re pretty happy.”
A Labour/Green Government in 2014 would have been a disaster. In 2017 far less so with a commitment to keep spending to under 30% of GDP and abandoning policies such as destroying the energy generation market. I still think their policies aren’t great overall, but they are far far more benign than in 2014.