Here's the news in brief from New Zealand's political economy on Tuesday, including a confronting hikoi outside Parliament for Treaty Settlements Minister Andrew Little, Mercury (formerly Mighty River Power) losing its place in a key global stock index to A3 Milk, meat prices falling as mycoplasma bovis culling intensifies, MPI denying it might block all stock movements on Gypsy Day (June 1) to contain the disease, and movements in TVNZ's political reporting team.
For the convenience of email subscribers, here's my weekend column on whether Flick Electric could use new technology and raw market signals to 'do a Trade Me' to the electricity industry.
For the convenience of email subscribers and browsers, here's my weekend opinion piece arguing the electricity and local government sectors are the inflation culprits underneath our painfully high interest rates and currency.
A report for MBIE has found the Electricity Authority's NZ$15 million 'What's My Number' website and marketing campaign to encourage consumers to switch power retailers appeared not to have reduced power prices or increased competition much.
The average residential electricity bill rose 2.9% in 2013, including a 2.2% increase in distribution and transmission charges and a 3.4% increase in energy and retail charges.
The Electricity Authority has announced its Retail Advisory Group is considering recommending to the Authority that all retailers itemise lines charges in their bills.
Prime Minister John Key has defended significant increases in power prices for consumers as necessary to fund Transpower's national grid upgrades, arguing power price increases had been less under National than under Labour.
This chart (prepared by PwC for the Electricity Networks Association in May 2013) attempts to unravel the proportions of electricity charges related to lines distribution charges, electricity generation costs, network transmission costs and GST.
The Electricity Authority (EA) has announced it will be reviewing retailers' claims they are putting up prices because of higher distribution charges.
A Green Party analysis of MBIE figures has found average power prices have risen 19.5% or NZ$360 per household per year since the National-led Government took office in November 2008.