Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Tiwai needs a solution, not an apology

“The workers at Tiwai Point need more than an apology from Winston Peters, they need a real solution” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Winston Peters might have offered a weak ‘sorry’ but followed up by lashing out and blaming everyone else for the problems at Tiwai.

“If NZ First Leader Winston Peters wants to know why companies are leaving New Zealand, he could talk to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters about the damaging red tape and taxes piled on by his Government.

“ACT has a positive, practical solution to save Tiwai point which will cost the taxpayer nothing.

““The fundamental issue is that Tiwai’s costs – electricity, bauxite, and labour – are too high given the current price of aluminium.

“Tiwai can’t control the price of bauxite and it’s trying to save workers’ livelihoods. We need to bring down electricity transmission costs. There is a real, common sense solution for doing so.

“The Electricity Code contains a ‘prudent discount’ provision. If a customer can realistically get cheaper transmission pricing outside of Transpower’s network, Transpower should give it a ‘prudent discount’. In theory, New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter could build its own line from Manapouri to Tiwai, invoking the provision. But the RMA means this alternative is not viable and the prudent discount can’t be invoked.

“The Government should legislate that a transmission line is consented between Manapouri and Tiwai. It is not going to build it, but Transpower will have to give NZAS a discount on transmission. This manoeuvre could make the smelter viable.

“Winston Peters should save his hollow words and do what’s right for the people of Southland. ACT has the sensible solution which will save livelihoods and help the Southland economy.”