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certainty around Labour-
Greens policy for overhauling
the electricity sector before the
election appear to be out of luck.
e parties released plans
for radically restructuring the
industry shortly before the oat
of Mighty River Power in May
last year and their policy has hung
over the partial privatisation
At an energy industry
conference yesterday the
architects of the policy, Labour
nance spokesman David Parker
and Greens co-leader Russel
Norman, restated the broad
principles of the NZ Power
"We don't plan to release much
further detail before the election,"
Dr Norman said after a panel
discussion at the Downstream
conference in Auckland.
"We've released a lot more
detail than the National Party
did before the Bradford reforms."
In government the parties
would be in a much better
position to develop policy using
the bureaucracy at their disposal,
Dr Norman said.
Uncertainty over Rio Tinto
pulling out of the Tiwai Point
aluminium smelter and at
demand across the market had
also soured the outlook for
Mighty River's share price
tumbling soon after listing and
weak demand for Meridian
Energy later last year meant the
Government raised less than
forecast. Genesis Energy will hit
the market next month and is
also seen as a hard sell.
Tauranga's Energy Consumer
Trust, a third owner of
Trustpower, said that since the
policy announcement $100
million had been stripped from
its stake in the power company.
But Dr Norman played down
the impact of the Labour-Greens
"Our policy was announced
before the (Mighty River) IPO
so any allegation that we're
responsible for it is untrue.
e Government spent a lot of
money advertising and telling
them it was a great investment,"
Dr Norman said. "Based on the
share price so far that certainly
hasn't turned out to be true."
Mighty River Power chief
executive Doug He ernan ---
who lined up in a panel debate
with former Labour Energy
Minister David Butcher against
Dr Norman and Mr Parker ---
said he understood why there
was not much NZ Power detail
but uncertainty was not helpful.
" at's the problem with
politics. Politics and commerce
don't intersect very well at all,"
Mr He ernan said.
Hopes that investors would put
money into utilities rather than
speculating on property had not
"A lot of small shareholders
were scared away. It's de nitely
been a bad experience of investors
post the IPO," he said.
e Labour-Greens plan is
based on the Pharmac buying
model, using a single buyer for
electricity which the parties say
will result in cheaper power for
Mr Parker, who was Energy
Minister in the last Labour
Government, said he remained
fundamentally opposed to the
asset sell-o .
"We don't like to see the
bene ts of low-cost generation
e ectively powered by public
water being privatised."
He also attacked research
released by the Electricity
Authority since the policy
" ey were trying to construct
an argument against our model
rather than be the independent
regulator they ought to be. I
thought the attack on our policy
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Labour, Greens stay
mum on power plans
e pilot of a microlight forced into a crash
landing near Waipahi yesterday afternoon
escaped with only minor injuries.
Emergency services were called to the crash
about 3.20pm after a member of the public
reported seeing a plume of smoke along the
Waipahi Highway between Pukerau and
Detective sergeant Greg Baird, of Gore,
said the male pilot was the sole occupant of
the two-seat microlight. He su ered minor
injuries and was treated by St John.
It was understood the engine of the
microlight stopped, causing the pilot to land
on a farm on the outskirts of Waipahi.
e front and undercarriage of the
microlight was damaged.
Mr Baird said it was too early to identify
what caused the crash. He could not con rm
where the man was ying to or from.
Alastair Sell, of Waipahi, was visiting his
neighbour when he saw the microlight crash
"It basically hit the tops of those trees. I
thought 'Sh---, that doesn't look good'."
His neighbour called 111 and Mr Sell ran to
the paddock to check on the pilot.
"I've never seen so many cops in Waipahi."
Police from Clinton, Gore, and Tapanui, and
volunteer re ghters from Pukerau and Gore
e microlight was secured on site overnight
and would be recovered in "due course", Mr
e Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has
been advised and will be investigating.
e CAA website lists the Rans S-7 Courier
microlight as being registered to Dr H B
Tapper, of Invercargill. --- Otago Daily Times
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Senior constable Richard Whitmore, left, of Clinton, and senior constable Richard
Lindsay, of Gore, at the scene of a microlight crash at Waipahi, Otago, yesterday afternoon.
Pilot escapes with minor injuries
e Government has ordered the fast-
tracking of a threat management plan for
the endangered New Zealand sea lion,
following a worryingly low pup count at
their biggest breeding ground.
New numbers show that 1575 pups were
counted on the subantarctic Auckland
Islands this year --- down 18% on last year.
Conservation Minister Nick Smith,
who is on board the HMNZS Wellington
visiting the Auckland Islands, today
described the low count as "cause for
It as the third lowest since monitoring
began in the mid-1990s and shows an
on-going trend of decline over the last
decade of the world's rarest sea lion, and
New Zealand's only endemic seal.
" e purpose of developing a new
reat Management Plan for the New
Zealand sea lion is to review all the risks
and explore all possible measures to
ensure their sur vival," Dr Smith said.
Options included active eld
management, such as intervening to
reduce the several hundred deaths from
misadventure and disease, extending or
creating new marine mammal sanctuaries
under the Marine Mammals Protection
Act, or additional measures to reduce
impacts of shing.
Dr Smith, with Minister for Primary
Industries Nathan Guy, were bringing
forward the development of the new plan
as the existing operational plan was to be
triggered if the pup numbers dropped
is morning's announcement follows
calls for action over recent days, fuelled by
the deaths of two sea lions in squid shing
nets since the season began ve weeks ago.
Forest and Bird has called for the squid
shing industry to use more sustainable
methods, while Green MP Gareth
Hughes had accused the Government of
"sitting on its hands"and implored it to
re-evaluate its squid shery management.
Deepwater Group, which represents
the squid shing eet o the Auckland
Islands, had meanwhile cited a bacterial
disease, Klebsiella pneumoniae, claiming
that it was killing 600 sea lions each year,
and a third or more of the pups before
they reached the age of two, leaving 15%
to survive to breeding age.
It called upon the Government to
But some scientists last week expressed
doubts about the claim, saying there were
likely to be multiple factors behind the
Dr Smith said that the cause was "not
"A wider investigation was initiated in
2012 that indicated that environmental
change and prey abundance were likely
to have played a role in the population
decline," he said.
" ere is also evidence that a bacterial
disease has reduced pup survival rates over
the last two decades."
is number had declined signi cantly
with the sea lion exclusion devices
(Sleds) developed by the shing industry,
"Sleds are a great innovation but we
need to continue to monitor the use and
e ectiveness of these devices."Mr Hughes
has instead called for shing eets to use
jigging -- a squid shing method that
used hooks rather than nets, and which
he claimed posed little risk to sea lions.
Dr Smith said the more encouraging
advice was that breeding numbers
on Campbell Island were showing
improvement and in the last decade,
the sea lion had started breeding
on the South Otago coastline.
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Hundreds of passport applicants have had their
e-mail addresses shared with other applicants in
another government privacy botch-up.
About 400 people applying on-line for
passports were yesterday sent an e-mail
informing them of a system outage on the
Department of Internal A airs website.
However, each recipient could see the e-mail
addresses --- many of which revealed names ---
of all the other applicants the message was sent
to.Among them was Auckland man Oisin Frost,
43, who said he was "not particularly fussed" by
the blunder "but I could understand if some
After a series of privacy blunders at the
ACC, Ministry of Social Development and
Earthquake Commission, Government chief
information o cer Colin McDonald ordered
a review of the State sector's vulnerability
to privacy breaches. e State Services
Commission also called in senior managers to
underline the need to improve data handling.
However Mr Frost said: "It doesn't seem
they've moved far enough in the right direction."
Internal A airs general manager of identity
and passports David Philp acknowledged the
department had breached the privacy of the
a ected applicants due to human error.
"We realised we had made the error
immediately after it occurred and took action
to deal with it.
"We are certain that beyond the e-mail address
no other personal details have been disclosed.
"We are extremely disappointed that this issue
has occurred and will be reviewing the process
to make sure it does not happen again.
"We have written to each a ected applicant
and apologised for the privacy breach."
Mr Philp said the department took privacy
issues very seriously.
A spokesman for the Privacy Commission
said the organisation had been noti ed by
department about the e-mail breach.
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Passport e-mail latest privacy slip
Lotto is preparing to launch a new "simple
numbers game" with no age restriction as part
of a suite of initiatives, including supermarket
checkout sales, aimed at topping the $1 billion
mark for ticket sales.
e new game, "Play 3", and the ministerial
green light to develop it were revealed in Lotto
NZ's recent brie ng to incoming Internal
A airs Minister Peter Dunne.
e game "is intended to help grow sales and
strengthen our product portfolio by expanding
our portfolio across the week".
e game is estimated to boost revenue by
1.1%, which amounts to just over $10 million
based on Lotto NZ's revenues of $946.8
million last year.
A Lotto NZ spokeswoman said the game's
rules were still in development. However,
it will be a simple numbers game and
a draw-based game. Players can play three
single-digit numbers between 0 and 9
to form a three-digit number.
Like all of Lotto NZ's games except Instant
Scratch tickets, it would not have an age
Based on what was known about the game,
Problem Gambling Foundation chief executive
Graeme Ramsey questioned why a new
form of gambling was required, "particularly
a game that almost looks like it's being
targeted at younger people as a gateway
In its brie ng to Mr Dunne, Lotto NZ
mentions the game along with supermarket
checkout sales as part of its pursuit of long-
term strategic initiatives as outlined in its
2013-14 statement of intent.
at document states: "We believe there
is still a signi cant opportunity to grow our
business, especially when looking at the global
context, where we lag other peer markets on a
straight sales per capita comparison."
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Lotto's new game geared to $1b take
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