Monday, October 6, 2014

Power cuts in Auckland---a sign of the ways things will be under a 'protfit-driven' regime?

Auckland prides itself as a wonderful place to live, with beautiful harbours and a 'kind' climate. It boasts superb facilities and its citizens supposedly enjoy a way of life , not achievable in many cities overseas. For many that picture is true, but ask the struggling 'poor,' including those earning less than a 'liveable wage' and they will not recognise that description as being relevant to them. Now look at what is becoming a 'feature ' of life in Auckland; fairly regular power cuts, resulting in massive inconvenience for a large area of the city. Those people living elsewhere, simply shrug their shoulders and even smile' as they see Aucklanders 'suffering.' That scenario is not uncommon in other countries where one city almost dominates the economy. The question has to be asked why these power cuts are occurring. Some would point to old infrastructure, where modernizing has not happened to keep pace with the growing population and need for ever more power. This needs to be put alongside the policies of various governments in recent decades to 'privatise electricity production and supply with the accompanying 'need to make a profit' for shareholders, with an increasing number of the later being overseas 'stakeholders.' The 'social contract' that has existed in the past is but a figment of our historical memory. New Zealand's energy sector is now dominated by 'private enterprise,' with the slow degrading of services as they cream off the profits. I am not saying that 'profit' is a dirty word but I am saying that their neglect (I include the State owned portions of the sector, because they too must make a profit under the present philosophy!)re maintaining and improving infrastructure has led to the situation we are observing in Auckland and elsewhere in New Zealand. Sure we have the Greens and others espousing a more 'alternate-driven' form of supplying energy needs, but even those would be administered under the same philosophical political dogma we are seeing with the present National Government. As long as the 'profit' motive dominates, then expect more of what we have been seeing of late. Expect the blackouts to increase and even with the advent of a more 'sustainable policy of development' (including the solar, wind and tide options)there is no real light at the end of the tunnel, because we have drifted way beyond the point where an easy fix is possible. One only has to look at British Rail to see what happens when profit is the God! What our forefathers built up, in a State-owned system for energy supply has virtually been given to the new 'masters' of NZ, the National Party and its friends. However they too, as consumers will be affected as the system continues to break down. I wonder how the 'Remuera brigade' are responding as they struggle to keep their tropical fish warm and alive! It is only when they are affected, joined perhaps by farmers losing supply in the rural areas, that we will see an outcry sufficient to take a long and hard look at what has happened since the 'selling' of our hard won state assets, became a dominant political strategy, one pursued by both major parties, but ensconced re the National/Act Parties!

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