Prime Minister John Key's threat that a future National Government would scrap NZ Power and put up power prices is a stark admission of failure, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.
Mr Key told media yesterday that, once the next Government enacts NZ Power and lowers families' power bills by $300 a year, a future National Government would scrap the policy and reinstate the current system, which has seen power prices rise by over $300 a year on Mr Key's watch. Mr Key has previously stated he will quit politics if he loses an election.
"The Greens, along with Labour, have proposed NZ Power to bring down electricity prices because it is the right thing to do for Kiwi families and businesses. Mr Key's threats of revenge from beyond the political grave will not impress New Zealanders who are sick and tired of paying too much for power," said Mrs Turei.
"The Greens, along with Labour, have a plan to reduce families' power bills by $300 a year, lower businesses' electricity costs, and create 5,000 jobs in the process. National's response is to threaten to tear that down.
"It's predictable, but disappointing, from National. They don't have any ideas of their own to improve the lives of Kiwi families. Instead, they're reduced to trying to sabotage the Greens' initiative to fix the broken electricity market and ensure every family has a block of affordable electricity.
"Mr Key is telling New Zealanders that National is on the side of the financiers - he wants to ensure that they make big profits from privatised electricity companies. The Greens are on the side of Kiwi families and businesses who have been paying too much for power for too long.
"While it's extraordinary for Mr Key to commit a future National Government that he won't be a part of to raising power prices, we should take him at his word.
"National created this system that means we pay too much for power, National is fighting to keep those prices high now so financiers can profit from them, and National can be depended on to try to force up electricity prices again in the future if they ever get the chance.
"The only way Kiwis can be sure that they will enjoy fair power prices is to keep the electricity market out of National's hands," said Mrs Turei.