The NZ Initiative’s Eric Crampton (Storm brewing in country’s power markets, April 16) accuses me of claiming that ‘‘the electricity industry is run by a bunch of oligarchs intent on doing evil things’’. He misses my point entirely. The electricity industry is run by a bunch of oligarchs intent simply on making money.
In this country, as the Commerce Commission has reminded us, ‘‘the exercise of market power to earn rents is not by itself a contravention of the Commerce Act, but is a lawful, rational exploitation of the ability and incentives available to the generators’’. Price-gouging captive, low-income customers is the easiest way to bring in heaps of money, and has the blessing of our Parliament.
The resulting energy poverty is simply collateral damage – nothing personal, just business.
GEOFF BERTRAM Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University of