Business elites denounce threat to their profits

Critics of the Labour/Greens power policy, NZ Power, have been relentless in their attacks on the plan.

Business elites making a lot of money out of an existing electricity model that few people actually understand but which appears to have failed, have slammed the plan. Critics have included the CEO of Mighty River Power, whose salary exceeds a million dollars a year, and stockbrokers who stand to profit handsomely from an uninterrupted partial float of the energy SOEs.

Many of these people are now realising that they may not be able to buy as many houses or boats if NZ Power comes into effect.

Some high net worth individuals may even have to put off buying their third holiday home or a skiing trip in the Swiss Alps, in order to ensure there is still enough money for their children’s private educations.

The NZ Power plan threatens to impose genuine suffering upon some people currently enjoying the benefits of the existing electricity system. For a few unlucky ones it may mean not buying a late model European car every year.

But NZ Power also threatens ordinary investors, including Kiwisaver contributors, in ways that are both terrifying and imaginary.

By way of example, the NZ Power announcement spooked the capital markets and led to a massive destruction of shareholder value, which in turn resulted in a loss in the value of many Kiwisaver funds. This potential disaster was only averted when the sharemarket continued to go up and up, resulting in an increase in the value of those same Kiwisaver funds.

The NZX50 reacted negatively to NZ Power by continuing to rise

Critics of NZ Power will no doubt be hoping that its flaws will be evident to those cleaners on minimum wage, or solo mums on benefits, struggling to find the money to pay their power bill, and who might have otherwise be tempted to vote for either Labour or the Greens.

They will be praying that people who don’t have the money for nice things remain willing to pay too much for their electricity, so that others can have those nice things.

These business elites will be hoping that Labour and the Greens listen to all the criticisms, and abandon the NZ Power policy.

Labour and the Greens may in turn be hoping that those business elites persist in their attacks.