Labour can’t keep the lights on

I completely agree with the Energy Minister Megan Woods and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in their assessment of the blackouts on Monday as ‘not good enough,’ National’s Energy and Resources spokesperson Barbara Kuriger says.

“It is a pity Labour is committed to proportioning blame to everyone but themselves. As the Energy Minister, the buck stops with you. New Zealanders need to know that they will not be left without electricity on the coldest night of the year.

“Wages aren’t the only thing Labour is freezing. The power outages left many families with no other way to warm their homes. This Government has, after all, told us that wood burners are bad news for the environment.

“This whole incident reveals the weakness in the Labour’s impractical target of 100 per cent renewable electricity and the spur of the moment gas exploration ban issued by Jacinda Ardern last term.

“We have been importing millions of tonnes of Indonesian coal in order to keep our power sources going instead of using our own natural resources and employing a gradual step down from fossil fuels.

“Minister David Parker spoke on behalf of Energy Minister Megan Woods in the urgent debate I requested today. He was unable to illuminate what exactly Labour would be doing differently to ensure that this does not happen again.

“Other Labour speakers were also unwilling to shoulder any responsibility for the incident, despite the great deal of harm it could well have done to vulnerable New Zealanders who had to rush to hospital when their medical equipped lost its power source.

“Labour sought to blame Transpower – a State-Owned Enterprise – and Genesis Energy – of which the Government is the majority shareholder. Surely there are lines of communication set up between them and the Minister’s office?

“It is outrageous that instead of having a system of swift notification, the Minister found out about the blackouts after it had already hit social media.

“With how much Labour spends on communications, how are we ending up in the dark?”