Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > The freezing cold invisible hand of neo-liberalism

The freezing cold invisible hand of neo-liberalism



Genesis Energy CEO Marc England


Following the power brown-out through the north island on Monday night – something that supposedly happens only in developing or marxist nations and not developed free market economies – Genesis Energy, chief executive, Marc England was interviewed on RNZ’s Checkpoint by Lisa Owen.




Trying to ascertain where responsibility lay for power cuts ping-ponged between Transpower and Genesis Energy until Mr England made this astounding admission;

“We don’t have any legal or regulatory accountability for security of supply in New Zealand, our only accountability is to be sure we can supply our customers.”

To emphasise the point; the CEO of one of our main electricity gentailers; currently 51% State-owned/49% privatised; formerly a 100% state owned enterprise; and prior to that, part of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand has formally expressed his company’s zero obligation for “any legal or regulatory accountability for security of supply in New Zealand“. His only concern was “to be sure we can supply our customers“.

Let that sink in for a moment: ““We don’t have any legal or regulatory accountability for security of supply in New Zealand“.

That is where the splitting up of state electricity generation and retailing; partial privatisation; and the so-called “free market” has led us: “We don’t have any legal or regulatory accountability for security of supply in New Zealand”.

Being a commercial entity, the sole purpose of all gentailers is to return a dividend to shareholders.

It can do that any number of ways but it has no “regulatory accountability for security of supply in New Zealand“. It’s only “regulatory accountability” is to it’s shareholders. End of.

If it can achieve higher dividends by reducing power generation and thereby pushing up prices by virtue of scarcity – then that is it’s priority.

Not to New Zealand.

Not to customers.

But to shareholders.

It is noteworthy that since part-privatisation in 2014, Genesis Energy has not built any further power generation.  There are no incentives for it (nor any other gentailer) to do so. To generate more electricity would increase supply and drive down prices. By keeping generation static – especially in moments of high demand – it can drive up prices.

Electricity consumers can expect prices rises in  months to come.

Welcome to the logical – if insane – conclusion to the neo-liberal experiment.

The only solutions are;

  1. Regulation by government to force gentailers to build more renewable energy generation (geothermal, solar, hydro, tidal, and wind).
  2. Re-nationalise.
  3. Close close all coal-burning at Huntly and elsewhere.

Otherwise, New Zealanders can expect more-of-the-same: static or reduced generation; rising prices; brown outs.,

Otherwise, as Mr England stated with crystal clarity: “We don’t have any legal or regulatory accountability for security of supply in New Zealand”.

The free market has spoken.


Caretaker Leader Judith Collins


Responding to the power brown-outs on Monday night, National’s caretaker leader, Judith Collins made these two asinine posts on Twitter;





Note the time-stamps on both: 9.05PM and 9.06PM.

Ms Collins would have had no understanding why the brown-outs were occurring. In  fact, for much of the affected areas, they were still in darkness. So no one knew what was happening or why.

Yet, that did not prevent Ms Collins from posting two childish “digs” at the government.

This is indicative of her personality; vindictive and willing to lash out.

It is clear that with each successive political poll, as her standing among voters continues its downward trajectory, she is becoming more desperate. And more erratic.

This woman is not fit to be Prime Minister. She is barely suitable as party Leader for National.







RNZ: Checkpoint – Power outages – Genesis CEO says Energy Minister scapegoating, but Woods has questions

Wikipedia: Genesis Energy

Wikipedia: Electricity Corporation of New Zealand

Wikipedia: Genesis Energy – Power Stations

Twitter: Judith Collins – Thanks Labour9.05PM –  Aug 9, 2021

Twitter: Judith Collins – Natural off shore exploration ban is looking a bit short sighted – 9.06PM  Aug 9, 2021


RNZ: UN sounds ‘code red for humanity’ warning over irreversible climate impact

Other Blogs

No Right Turn: The electricity market screws us again

The Standard: When We Needed Electricity, it Was Shut Off

Previous related blogposts

Judith Collins wins a Hypocrisy Award

Politics through a crystal ball, palmistry, or chicken entrails?

History Lesson – Tahi – Electricity Sector “reforms”

The Vote, Electricity, and Sex! (That’ll grab your attention!)

Labour, Greens, NZ First, & Mana – A Bright Idea with electricity!

Do National Party supporters prefer higher electricity prices?




free market cartoon new zealand aotearoa

Acknowledgement: Dylan Horrocks


Liked what you read? Feel free to share.

Have your own thoughts? Leave a comment. (Trolls need not bother.)


= fs =

  1. No comments yet.
  1. 19 September 2021 at 6:01 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: