2 May 2014

Opposition power plan 'won't deliver'

7:37 am on 2 May 2014

Mighty River Power's incoming chief executive believes a centralised electricity market, as proposed by the Labour and Green parties, would fail to deliver real savings.

Fraser Whineray will take over the top job from 1 September when Doug Heffernan retires after 14 years in the role.

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Mr Whineray said Mighty River Power would have to adjust, if the NZ Power proposal went ahead.

But he didn't think the model would deliver the best result for either consumers or investors.

Mr Whineray said policy needs to focus on households that need it and that the benefit goes to those that need it.

"When it comes to central control of electricity I'd just point out that some of the most expensive power stations built were when it was centrally controlled, some of them were in the Waikato hydro scheme and some of those cost four times as much as it costs to build a geo-thermal power station today."

Meanwhile, while acknowledging that the electricity market was highly competitive and demand was flat, Mr Whineray said there were more opportunities, than challenges.

Fraser Whineray joined Mighty River in 2008 and is currently the general manager of operations, but moves to a new role of chief executive designate in order to ensure a smooth transition.