Shock Announcement: Normal maintenance to proceed under National

We look forward to more announcements from this very busy government that schools will buy chalk this year, trains will refuel, nurses worn out uniforms will be replaced and the harbour bridge repainted. The press secretaries will be working overtime. It is, of course, entirely a good thing that Transpower will do essential maintenance on their towers and substations. We hope it includes rusty D shackles too. We sleep well in our beds, knowing the lights are likely to go on again tomorrow.

But it’s hardly the stuff of major government announcements.

Transpower is in charge of its own maintenance programme and its funding. We pay for it through our power bills. The fact that is has decided, after a litle talk with the minister, to accelerate its maintenance programme planned for the next ten years is Transpower’s decision and funded by Transpower. Yet it was the subject of major government spin, before and after the announcement. There’s no new money here and no government money – just a common sense acceleration of maintenance, which we applaud.

There has been quite a lot of smoke and mirrors around the Infrastructure package, much of which is not new money. Commitments of the previous government have been rubbished because they had not yet been through a budget process but somehow the Infrastructure package, which hasn’t either, is “funded” while insulating homes out of the Emissions Trading Scheme electricity revenues was “unfunded”.

I’m sure most people will take from yesterday’s preview and today’s announcement, “Great – the government is going to fix up our electricity system”.

41 Comments Posted

  1. It’s rubbish that the SI is dependent on the north for power. The SOuth is a net exporter. for a couple of months last year that changed but mainly because the south was importing power to balance out the storage deficit they had created through exports made earlier in the year. Note that even at the peak of the southward flows in 08 there were occassions when power went north.

    If the SI weren’t an exporter and the production capacity was unchanged, it would not need to import power as power production would be managed very differently ie instead of churning through water to power the NI in summer, it would be conserved earlier so that winter generation was maximised.

  2. greengeek – do you have a link that supports your claim that:
    “For a long time now the South Island has been reliant on power going south across the cable.”

    Much (all?) of the power being sent south during off-peak times is sent north again during peak times to make up for the fact that the North Island has little hydro storage. The DC link has a higher northward capacity than the southward capacity.


  3. Had a bad night in Brisbane with a greenfly once…over it now.
    Anyway the bro and i were joking – he proposed leaving the south island to ‘the left’ (in 5 years time) all pure fantasy here – i just pointed out that with present ice-loss levels – he might find the north underwater (also a fantasy, I hope).
    Twenty years away(me), and NZ is far more split (socially), with all it’s old problems intact – i’m going to risk another string of extreme right abuse by saying it again :we should be going for more unity – not the other way.
    Australian States all have an upper and lower House – so does Canberra – most Australians are against the funding of such a huge electoral machine – but they can afford it i guess.
    We already got one system (MMP) that isn’t much value for money – you, you want to buy another one? True? Ha – of course you jest Greenfly.

    dbuckley: thank you for the info – hard facts beat daydreaming by a few lengths hey?
    regards etc.

  4. For a long time now the South Island has been reliant on power going south across the cable.

    Depends on a seasonal when. When the pylon fell over, making the islands electrically independent of each other, NI elekky prices skyrocketed, whereas in the SI you couldn’t give the stuff away.

  5. Mark Says:
    Whoever owns the South Island owns the Power – watch your choices now – they might come true.

    For a long time now the South Island has been reliant on power going south across the cable.

    Why? because NZ does not have enough hydro generation capacity. Huntly generates a lot of the power that keeps southland farms running.

    I’d love to see the North and South Islands run with separate state governments, somewhat like Australia. I think significantly different cultures, lifestyles and economies would develop.

    The North would become cosmopolitan, multicultural, and energy-rich, while the South would gradually be overrun by Invercargill style bogans and white supremascists. (In other words Christchurch would just keep on getting bigger)

  6. Alternativly,
    my email is hosted on , the name starts with n and is that of the greek god of divine justice and retribution. her main place of worship being rhamnous. the name adapted into english means a polar opposite or arch-enemy.

    have fun 😛

  7. Well Sapient: I tried – figure it might happen Monday – these Greens y’know; they be down the beach sumt’n.
    You know I went down the riverbank park lookin but I couldn’t see any Greens (what do they do?) leaping about, smoking jah lawn, dunno.
    Hey bb what’s a Green Look Like anyway?
    (this should be good)

  8. Nice Take DaddyO. I am happy to give John Key the chance to fulfill NZ’s endless potential. He did after all, get the default mode votes to try.
    Can’t really adore the style (rushin Legislation etc) but don’t mind ALL the substance.

  9. OK well – I’ll ask Frog to pass it on and also ask him to forward mine. Is that ok Frog? We hold your integrity profound here.
    Wont post it here – will e-mail ya.
    No blowback – but since bb be takin over the North Island, he’ll need a few dozen Green MP’s to help him along (we need a batting coach too!).
    The Mean Green Cricket Team (on paper) will beat any Nat/Lab/Act Combo (good for the Right to play on the same team).
    The Local Mayor will be happy to stage the event I’m sure (plus I want the local conditions – helps my ultra slow off-spinning bouncer mon!).

  10. Mark,
    I posted a eply last night but it is pobally stuck in the filte due to it having an email address in it. prehaps not the wisest thing, but ohwel.

    Not to defend national, but the reserve banl does something not to similar on occasion, they refer to it as “open mouth operations” (its a play on “open market operations”) the point being that by saying rather than doing theylead people to beleive and respond without anyone doing anything. there some real differences in the plan, but what would be most important is that the population perceives the market as being more safe and as such spending more and retaining their own jos through such expendature.

  11. Its rather typical around here that when a post is put up showing the national are engaging in their ususal spin of the facts that all the national trolls get up in arms ……………………

    They side-step and distract from the original post and do their usual smearing of the green party.

    ……….. as the original post by jeanette pointed out the national govt is very good at spinning up their rather inadequate response to the global economic crisis.

    Or as Idiot/savant put it so well on his blog ………. Their election campaign “economic management plan” was simply the same old policies they had already announced, tarted up as a response to the fiscal crisis. Of course they’d pull the same trick when they gained power. The problem is that they are now responsible for dealing with a real crisis with real consequences – and rather than actually doing something about it, they are engaging in empty spin while in reality doing nothing.

    New Zealanders expect better than that. We expect action – and we expect honesty. And if National’s dishonest fake “stimulus” results in bad consequences for ordinary New Zealanders, National will have those consequences repaid in full at the ballot box. …………………

    So whats changed I ask ??????????

    The new nats are just the same as the old nats ………….. and they were a disgrace last time they were in power.

    ………. some things never change

  12. Mark,
    What crucial information is this?
    Im always up for a meeting of minds, give me a bell next time your headed this way and im sure we can arange something; im presently on a two week inter-semester break, so im free essentially any time in the next week and my schedulle is pretty sparse once semester starts back.
    Anyway, you can email me on .

  13. Five years is a time bb mentioned – I was just making a case for the future not being so very predictable.
    Myself I’ve been studying Global Ice-Loss, and it’s a doozy. Experts have gone from saying sea levels may rise by 15 feet to expecting a 60foot rise (whoops!) But then you gotta know where to look in cyberspace.
    Would trust BJ’s word, research, in this area as he is thoughtfull, thorough and profound.
    Listen – I live an hours drive away(wanganui) and figure it’d be quicker to drive down and give you all the complex interrelated info, than it would be to type it here – absolutely crucial information at that.
    No can’t do much about old treaties and old injustices.
    But when I see an army just lathering to move into an ‘enemy’ city – I know what the immediate future holds, and it’s this i can hope to affect. The avoidance of mass murder.
    Then those suicides in Iraq – well the 19 year olds are just kids, and what, blowing their heads off ? – no, i don’t care which race, I’d just like to try and stop it.
    A Medical Fraternity in Melbourne educated me in Psychiatry because i could already do something their specialists couldn’t.
    Tell which one’s were likely to die and when (approx).
    That is something I picked up from years as a Volunteer Crisis Counsellor.
    Your engineering detail sounds solid – well scans ok. I like it!
    Yeah – we are in most unhealthy denial about suicide here – into the too hard basket, and then throw the basket away…
    Believe me I tried.
    Part of the problem is that you’ll meet NZ’s best Professionals, affirmed valued and living overseas. It’s called the ‘Brain Drain’ and is a post WW2 Phenomenon.
    I knew a British Defence Attatche to Australia, and (we were mates like) he held New Zealanders to be of singularly high value as thinking professionals. I protested, he asked why, I said “I’m naturally Biased”
    He said “See, Proves my point!”
    So I took to wearing a T-shirt that said ‘Grow your Own Dope; Plant a Pom’ (only in Australia can you find such things).
    Went across like a dead rat in the salad I can tell you.
    Anyway – it’s late – I could stretch this post into a book (bestseller!) but it would be easier just to say it in real time – keyboard hours inflame my injuries & GWS.
    regards Mark

  14. Mark,
    Five years? Where did you get that? Would be interested in reading it, though i doubt that would be the case, not that i would miss auckland.
    Probally atleast two years ago BJ made a post on the Greens Forums about support for accelerator driven thorium reactors and since then i have done quite a substantial amount of reading on the subject; while im not an engeineer, to me it seems feasable as the potential for meltdown is extremly low since the reaction is not self sustaining but instead must rely on injection and because of this injection a larger amount, both variety and volume wise, of fissile material is made availible and economic. Furthermore with injection and the correct economic stimulas the ‘waste’ can be further reacted so as to reduce the lifetime and the potential damage, plus some of the heavyer isotopes will continue to produce net energy through this meathod. James Lovelock, whom proposed the Gaia Theory, is an advocate of nuclear power and considers waste to be sufficently safe to be buried in his backyard.

    Suicide, hmm, interesting social phenomina. Whilst from a sociological and psychological point of view it interests me i dont think i would do well as a psychologist dealing with it; i mean i can provide near absolute logical reasoning for or against commiting such an act, but empathy is something more beneficial in the circumstance and that is something i lack for humans (theres a few books worth of psychology 😛 ). I have been split between clinical and research, though latley i have been driven more towards the PHD rather than DClinPsych as the PHD holds more academic kudos and i have a strong interest in cognition. plus if i ever change my mind its only a one year course to obtan a PGDipClinPsych once i have a PHD, lol. politics may be the master science/art, but psychology is both the sheild and sword that allows it to be so 😛

    your services are better spent here, we need actual psychologists rather than the crud that seems to be so pervasive. but more than that we need engeneers and half decent politicians.

  15. I know – I was just saying the North Island may be underwater in 5 years (?). Went thru to the keeper anyway….
    A fan of going nuclear – well – I’d like to know why Britain closed so many plants; but the technology looks good.
    However there are elements underwater to consider, and the problem of waste.
    A different story took my attention today – something like 27 US Armed Force suicides January in Iraq.
    Possibly the first time in history the US army has lost more to suicide than casualties (other).
    It’s a story on CNN’s website.
    And of course we have a clamp on suicide numbers here – the sort of work where a discriminating psychologist could be usefull – mayhaps i should ring and see if i cant get a job there?
    It’s not that the pay is 5x. It’s just so much wasted in NZ.
    There are none so blind, as those who refuse to see, n’est pas?

  16. Mark,
    Not for any particular reason; but BB didint say underwater. That and a nuclear plant on waiheke island would be great. essecially a accelerator driven one 😛

  17. Hey bro – an underwater nuclear plant, and on the pacific rim’s fault line;
    Choice, that’s some cheap real estate too…
    ps just make Thommo angry, call him a big mug fast chucker – he loses it…

  18. A post is put up jeanette commenting on the spin of the Nats.

    Her post showed the typical natianal style of their actions being rather limp compared to their spin and rhetoric.

    And typically for this site we then get the usual bunch of natianal posters making their loud farting sounds.

    Most Nzers would want to spend as little time with those obnoxious posters as possible.

    True natianal supporters though …………….. in touch with their inner arseholes

  19. Just for the record, that rusty shackle that caused the Auckland power cut wasn’t old. It corroded because a current was flowing through it that should have been flowing around it. In other words, it wasn’t installed appropriately.


  20. Has anyone worked out whether we’d still have a deficit if it wasn’t for the tax cuts of last October, this coming April and beyond? Or if we still did, how much smaller it might be?

  21. >>But it would be worse if we still had all that public debt as well.

    A lot of that private debt has been created because the government takes a lot in tax. People can’t pay their debt down as quickly.

  22. Mark

    When the pinko’s start charging exorbitant prices for their power we build our own nuke plant.
    Perhaps then they will finally understand that they cannot keep milking the productive sector for their stupid social policies.

  23. Aw BB You’re bein nice again – Bumble says he didn’t say that and Thommo says he can find form after a few 4x’s if you still want to front up (just to tell the Grandkids).
    In five years – the North Island might be underwater bro

  24. Turnip

    Nope, lets give them the South Island, we will even pay the commercial rates for electricity we purchase from them.

    Within five years they will be broke,within five years they will be begging to be let back into our world.

  25. # BluePeter Says:
    February 13th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    >>then National shouldn’t keep trying to convince people

    Should they just sit there are be quiet instead? Perhaps you don’t understand politics. Jeanette is disingenuous.

    >> paying off debt

    > Train sets, ten years of deficits, low-quality government spending through the roof….

    Kiwisaver is a big part of the reason why we now have projected deficits. So are tax cuts and an increase in planned road-building. Labour hasn’t forced these things on national – National could reverse the decisions if it wanted to. The fact that it hasn’t chosen to means that the forecast deficits are actually due to a bi-partisan consensus to spend on these things.

    >>zero net public debt

    > Oh yes, because private debt doesn’t matter at all!

    of course private debt matters. But it would be worse if we still had all that public debt as well.

  26. In NZ? What Left?
    There isn’t one – just the bourguoise.
    We are unfortunately headed for Apartheid however.
    Whoever owns the South Island owns the Power – watch your choices now – they might come true.

  27. wouldn’t the left want the North Island I mean the North Island has always stolen from the south island.

    Isn’t stealing the corner stone of the left wing.

  28. Sapient

    Great idea, kind of like our very own east/west Berlin.

    Lets give the left the South Island, we can have the north and lets see what happens.
    I will volunteer to run border security in Wellington, it will be a huge job keeping the pinko’s out once they go broke and can no longer afford their generous social security system.

  29. Transpower is in charge of its own maintenance programme and its funding except when the board’s Performance Agreement with the Minister and the baord’s obligation to “have regard to government policy” dictate otherwise.

  30. BB,
    Could always take two small sections of NZ, let the left administer one and the right the other, and see which has the best economic and social stats after a decade. Be a pity for the people stuck there, but ohwel.

  31. Perhaps we should give the left a choice, they can have their grossly overpriced train set or they can have the dole/DPB.

    It seems that we cannot afford both.

  32. With the second great depression on it’s way it would seem very prudent to be very very cautious to me.
    I wish it were otherwise

  33. >>then National shouldn’t keep trying to convince people

    Should they just sit there are be quiet instead? Perhaps you don’t understand politics. Jeanette is disingenuous.

    >>paying off debt

    Train sets, ten years of deficits, low-quality government spending through the roof….

    >>zero net public debt

    Oh yes, because private debt doesn’t matter at all!

  34. but actually, it’s only true to say Cullen spent it all if you define paying off debt as a form of spending, because that’s where a lot of the money went.

    And the fact that New Zealand now has almost zero net public debt puts the government in a better position to borrow than a lot of other countries, so actually there is money available for spending that’s worth going into debt for.

  35. 1. BluePeter Says:
    February 13th, 2009 at 11:41 am

    >>much of which is not new money.

    > What new money is there to spend? Labour spent it all.

    then National shouldn’t keep trying to convince people that they’re spending new money

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