If recriminations could be turned into energy and stored, maybe the next power blackout could be avoided

Recriminations  flew  after  the  power blackout   on  Monday,  one  of the coldest  nights in  New Zealand.

Energy Minister  Megan  Woods blamed  a  market  failure  and “commercial decisions”. According  to  the  Dominion-Post,  she  pointed  the  finger  at  Genesis  Energy, which had not  turned on one of the  Huntly power station’s units.

The  government is  said to be  demanding  answers  from the industry.

Genesis chief executive Mark England said the company had been made a scapegoat and he will be asking the minister why.

Transpower has apologised after it asked lines companies to cut power in some areas to handle all-time-high demand for electricity, combined with insufficient generation, on one of the coldest nights of the year.

 Transpower CEO Alison Andrew said there was  enough generation to cover predicted demand on Monday evening. Continue reading “If recriminations could be turned into energy and stored, maybe the next power blackout could be avoided”

Kerry McDonald worries about NZ’s increasing reliance on  the  govt (not a good one, he says) to  manage our lives and futures

Wellington’s  newspaper,  The  Dominion-Post,  gave it to  its  readers straight:  “I’m no saviour”—Ardern rejects saintly status”.

But   would   the crowd  of  500  attending  Labour’s Congress  have believed it?  They had stamped  and  cheered   when,  in  opening  the event,  Peter  Samuel   Jackson (no, not the film director) had  said:

We  have   witnessed a masterclass  in  leadership and communications. We  have a very special  leader.  Your  leader, our premier, our   prime minister,  and  NZ’s saviour”.

Not  to be  out-done,  the event’s  host, Michele  A’Court  ( as the Dom-Post went on)  told the crowd:

She has the  best instincts of anyone  I have ever  met. She’s  kind, compassionate and empathetic. She has a spine made of  steel. And in moments of  chaos,  she has given us  clarity. On our worst days,  she has been her  best self”.

Ardern  was  there   to  deliver  the  keynote   address  detailing  the  party’s  “five point”  economic  recovery plan —- important stuff, surely, but  reporters  couldn’t  resist  asking her   whether  she  too  saw  herself  as  “NZ’s saviour”.

She  was  quick,  in  her empathetic  way,  to  deny  it: Continue reading “Kerry McDonald worries about NZ’s increasing reliance on  the  govt (not a good one, he says) to  manage our lives and futures”

Fallout from the Hisco affair is bound to spread to RBNZ moves to regulate bank capital

Pressure may be mounting for  a  broad  inquiry into  the banking industry following recent incidents involving  the biggest trading  bank in NZ.

Agriculture  Minister  Damien  O’Connor  said this week  banks  are  “bullies”  (according to a  Radio NZ report).  It’s a  sentiment shared  by  many  New Zealanders.

This  sentiment has  been rekindled by the departure  of ANZ’s CEO  David Hisco  who, it had been found, passed off charges for chauffeur-driven cars and the cost of storing his wine collection as business rather than personal expenses.

ANZ suffered a couple of regulatory blows last month with the Reserve Bank forcing it to hold more capital against housing and farm lending from June 30 and to use the standardised model for calculating its operational risk capital (ORC) rather than its own internal model.  That’s because it had been using a modified internal model for calculating ORC since December 2014 without first getting RBNZ approval. Continue reading “Fallout from the Hisco affair is bound to spread to RBNZ moves to regulate bank capital”