With the ending of the power saving campaign and the increase in the southern lake levels, the country is moving away from a possible power crisis.
However, the situation and improvement has come about, luckily for Meridian Energy, by good luck with rain recently falling in the catchment areas of the Waitaki lakes rather than prudent management.
The Waitaki lakes and river is a vital source of the country’s electricity supply and one must remember that Benmore hydrostation supplies power to the lower half of the North Island through the Cook Strait cables.
The fact the country has had to have a power saving campaign has helped to save the bacon of Meridian Energy, the Electricity Commission and an embarrassment for the government.
Because Meridian Energy is owned by the government it cannot escape castigation for allowing Meridian Energy to drain lakes Tekapo and Pukaki to dangerously low levels and seriously threaten the generating capacity of all the stations on the Waitaki as a result. To rely on water from Lake Ohau only and the Ahuriri River would be unthinkable for the Waitaki, a man-made disaster!
Finally, to alleviate a repeat of this year’s close call of a power crisis, the Labour government needs to look at its inaction towards more hydro power generation in its time in office. ALAN SIM Mt Roskill