The feds are supposed to crash in with all guns blazing – and draw lots of blood in a power play

Dunno if Federated Farmers has farmed out its public relations to some outfit in India, or somewhere even more remote, at weekends.

The fury has sadly gone from a press statement issued this evening.

The bloke whose name is attached to the statement is not an Indian, of course, and may well want to boast it’s all his own work.

Alf’s would counsel him to plead confusion somewhere between drafting, sign-off and release, or crossed wires, and blame the distant PR team for placing so much emphasis on the bleeding obvious.

The press release (here) might just as well have declared that beer will spill if you drop your mug, or that the sun will rise again in the morning (in some parts of the country anyway).

The feds variation of the bleeding obvious is this masterpiece:

Federated Farmers is concerned politics may be behind the Labour/Green policy on electricity and that its implications have not been fully considered.21 April 2013

Those pinko-greenie bastards!

Playing politics!

Alf could only splutter: No shit, Batman.

Then Crofoot harked back to the gay marriage thing for reasons not clear to your hard-working Eketahuna North MP:

“Last week, Parliament displayed some of its best qualities but it seems regular service has resumed,” says Anders Crofoot, Federated Farmers energy spokesperson.

Whatever the motivation, there is suspicion this policy may be a tactical response to the Government’s asset sales programme. Cynics may say that at the last election it was milk but at the next it will be the power bill.


That’s like saying Mrs Grumble has a suspicion Alf might slip off to the Eketahuna Club for a few grogs with his mates some time soon.

Crofoot goes on to say:

“Cynics may say that at the last election it was milk but at the next it will be the power bill.

“Federated Farmers feels uneasy about this because electricity is a major farm expense.”


Is that as robust a response to the leftie-greenie power grab that he can muster???

The cockies should be bloody thunderous, mollified only by the comforting thought that whatever the lefties and greenies might do, they won’t get their hands on the levers of power in a hurry.

It takes Crofoot some time to get down to the nitty-gritty, economically, and give us some hard data.

The Ministry for Primary Industries estimates the annual electricity spend by arable and dairy farmers is both around $25,000 each year, for sheep and beef farmers, it is around $6,000.

And –

“Excluding the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), StatisticsNZ data seems to indicate that the rate of power price increases has slowed in recent years. Certainly, they have been eclipsed by run-away price increases in the less productive non-tradable sector, with near triple digit council rate increases since 1998.”

Crofoot does make a fair point about the Pharmac model.

The idea of a Pharmac-styled single power purchaser does not add up, he argues.

“Pharmac purchases medical products from the global market whereas the proposed buying agency is limited to local power generators. Unlike with pharmaceuticals, there is no such thing as ‘generics’ when it comes to electricity. Nor can we do what happens overseas and ‘import’ power from other countries.

“The fact for low volume electricity users is this; the line charge now makes up a significant percentage of the final bill and there are no alternatives being proposed for that.”

But then the spin doctors run out of steam and venom. They display weaknesses in their thinking, too.

Crofoot is left saying:

If this policy eventuates power prices may go down on one hand, but due to current Labour/Green policies on the ETS, the other hand takes it back and more.

Hold on.

Are the feds really conceding that this policy might eventuate and furthermore that it might actually result in lower prices?


Put that idea in people’s heads and they just might want to vote for the leftie-greenie coalition, irrespective of the ETS part of the deal.

The feds can give Alf a bell if they want.

He will show them how to write a statement to make the opposition squirm and maybe go back to the drawing back and come back with something sensible.

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