Energy Poverty is real – this Government’s fee market mentality will make it worse


Four months with no electricity: New Zealand families rationing and living without power to eat

Each year around 40,000 New Zealanders are disconnected from the power supply for non-payment, according to Consumer NZ. They are surviving winter in cold, dark homes without access to a warm shower or a homecooked meal – some for months. Meanwhile, the main players in the power business are making huge profits – including charging hundreds for reconnections, often done by the touch of a button. In the first part of a series about power, we speak to those going without.

The social carnage our brutal monopolies can wage against the poor thanks to our under regulated capitalism is far larger than we have previously suspected

Opponents of wealth taxes and housing and energy market reforms often complain those reforms would be too expensive for taxpayers, but not reducing our worst-in-the-world housing and energy costs is already costing taxpayers over $6.6 billion a year.

Solving the failures in our housing and electricity markets would reduce the taxpayer burden by that much, let alone unleashing massive improvements in public health, productivity and real wages.

- Sponsor Promotion -

A new official report quietly buried by the Labour Government in its final months in power identifies over 300,000 people are now living in housing and energy poverty so severe that they are unable to afford the power needed to stay warm in winter, have warm showers or cook their own food. Figures on the number of families who turn off their own power because they can’t afford to pre-pay aren’t even collected.

The report documented people who lived in homes without power because of bad credit records or their pre-pay plans had run out of money, forcing them and their children to sleep in cold, mouldy homes and cook food on fires outside.

This housing and energy poverty leads to thousands of unnecessary hospitalisations and hundreds of deaths from chest and skin infections, costing $1.14 billion each year in extra public health costs. That’s on top of income-related rent subsidies, accommodation supplements, First Home Buyers grants, progressive home ownership grants, emergency housing costs and winter energy payments totalling $5.5 billion per year.

The report recommends any new Government reform the electricity market to focus on improving affordability, rather than gentailer profits and dividends, along with monitoring disconnections from pre-pay power and forcing retailers to abide by a consumer care code, which is currently voluntary, along with increasing funding for insulating and retrofitting homes and appliances.

…the sheer scale of misery our system generates for the poorest amongst us should be a nationwide shame, but then again, so should the 600000 who need food banks each month, the 25 000 on the social housing wait list, the million spent per day spent kettling beneficiaries into unsafe Motels, the hundreds of thousands living in poverty, our suicide rate, the hundreds of thousands of domestic violence incidents that are eclipsed by ram raids.

Each should be a national shame, yet the idea of over 300000 unable to use electricity and being forced to cook on open fires is shocking in a supposed first world country.

This rapacious attack on the poor with systems designed to cost them money should be a major story of economic justice, but it’s not!

The cost of refusing to fix the under regulated capitalism that underpins property speculation is $6.6Billion per year, this is a rigged casino economy ruled by Real Estate Pimps who are mercilessly abusing their political power to generate legislation that empowers them while robbing renters.

There is a naked class war erupting in NZ and we don’t have the political vocabulary to express that dimension because the woke middle class activists have stolen all the oxygen in the room with their identity politics virtue signalling.

Meanwhile the assault on the poorest and the most vulnerable begins at pace.



  1. ” new official report quietly buried by the Labour Government in its final months in power identifies over 300,000 people are now living in housing and energy poverty so severe that they are unable to afford the power needed to stay warm in winter, have warm showers or cook their own food ”

    The fact that Labour did that shows they are as cruel and socially and economically corrupt as the current government.

    Meghan Woods, I think it was made reforms to the electricity market, but it meant that the cost of power increased significantly, and the cabinet signed off on this knowing it would create even more energy poverty for Labours poorest supporters.

    It shows again how LINO is just another part of the evil economic system that no one politically is prepared to challenge.

    I suspect that a great many reports showing how desperate the effects of unregulated capitalism is having on so many but as you have said many times Bomber there is no accountability in reporting these effects in the media and there is a deliberate policy of supressing the story without any follow up or investigation once the story has appeared once and then disappears within a few hours.

  2. We drive the cost of electricity up by pushing renewables. Windmills are middle class virtue signalling.

    Ah but renewables produce inexpensive electricity the pundits claim… right up until we have to spend $100 million on a battery backup to try to stabilize the grid. And that’s just the start.

    There are two sensible routes to take in NZ regarding new generation capacity: More hydro or go nuclear. Meanwhile expect prices to rise.

  3. ‘fee’ market would be a Freudian slip!

    Perhaps ‘wilful ignorance’ should become a chant, a mantra every time we refer to the faults occuring in our nation, our economy, our society – as a recurring default position. Kiwis had better wake up from their positions of comfort and blame of other people for how things are. Work together with intelligent, practical people looking to the near future would be the best idea. Not offering panaceas.

    It would be good to start by reading ‘women’s’ author – Catherine Cookson in her 19th century industrial revolution phase to get a perspective of class and historic change, which we may have to reverse! It tells stories about commoners and nobility, coal miners and rising industrialists such as wealthy ‘ironmasters’.

    Adam Smith warned us about sympathising with the elites
    Psyche | on the human condition › ideas Whakamāoritia tēnei whārangi
    5 Oke 2020 — ‘ Economic life, at least as it exists in our society, depends on people being ambitious, deluded and miserable. ..

    (Menu of opinionated people; synonyms of worthy. Choose the one applicable to you and your familiars!:)
    dignitary notable
    notability celebrity personage
    famous person important person person of note
    luminary public figure official
    pillar of society grandee panjandrum leading light
    name big name somebody someone VIP top brass
    Mr Big big Daddy big shot
    bigwig big cheese big fish
    big gun big noise celeb
    biggie heavy hotshot
    Lady Muck Lord Muck nob big wheel
    kahuna big kahuna macher
    high muckamuck high muckety-muck – Oxford Languages
    Henry David Thoreau, “Walden,” 1854
    (Thoreau was questioning; thinking of his experience and observation. He seems to be impractical, some irrelevant for today, but makes good points.)
    …something about your condition, especially your outward condition or circumstances in this world, in this town, what it is, whether it is necessary that it be as bad as it is, whether it cannot be improved as well as not…

    Watching The English Moodle USP › mod_resource › content PDF
    When the English describe someone as ‘rich’ or ‘wealthy’, we almost always do so with a slight sneer, and those who can be so described will rarely use …
    HODDER & STOUGHTON – Kate Fox, a social anthropologist, is Co-Director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford and a Fellow of the Institute for Cultural Research. Following an erratic education in England, America, Ireland and France, she studied anthropology and philosophy at Cambridge.‘
    Watching the English . . . will make you laugh out loud (“Oh God. I do that!”) and cringe simultaneously (“OhGod. I do that as well.”). This is a hilarious book which just shows us for what we are . . . beautifully-observed.It is a wonderful read for both the English and those who look at us and wonder why we do what we do. Now they’ll know.’ Birmingham Post

    If we accept that we’ve been absent from deep thought about why and how we and general society got into our present position that’s only a start. Then ask ourselves frankly, do we care about anyone else outside own family and circle and allow the country to go to pot (with a hole in it)? Do we consider themselves good, worthy, smart, insightful or inciteful. or..?

  4. I’ve recently been watching some old nz newsreels(newsreels are fascinating yup I’m a geek) on the nz archive you tube channel.
    whilst they show what you want to project as a nation, the image projected is in itself instructive

    the point being what a progressive place nz USED to be it’s heartbreaking from 1st rank to 3rd world, thanks cannibal capitalism its’ boosters and adherants

  5. The retail electricity suppliers, in collusion with government, are in the process of withdrawing the “low user” scheme which reduces the fixed cost component (“line charges”) and balances that off with higher unit charges for electricity. Low fixed costs and higher unit costs made electricity affordable for the frugal poor, and helped the cause of energy conservation. So why is the industry bent on changing the model? I can see only one explanation which is that they are setting out to punish those who try to minimize their consumption of electric power, whether that is done out of financial necessity or because of environmental responsibility.

  6. Nathan perhaps your comments could link to solutions that end adult poverty.

    You thinks it’s acceptable that 600,000 people need charity to eat.

    You think it’s acceptable that 20 or 30 electric companies have to crank up the price of electricity to pay millions to advertise supplier switching, to pay millions to all the CEOs and millions to shareholders instead of having a simple national low cost supply to industry and households that benefits everyone.

    Try the 5% test. If a government policy doesn’t improve the lot of the poorest 5% of us it’s not a worthwhile policy.

  7. ” ” new official report quietly buried by the Labour Government in its final months in power identifies over 300,000 people are now living in housing and energy poverty so severe that they are unable to afford the power needed to stay warm in winter, have warm showers or cook their own food ”

    The fact that Labour did that shows they are as cruel and socially and economically corrupt as the current government.

    Bomber keep that in mind when you talk about a possible ” left ” alignment !

    That does in no way include the party your friend and babysitter Jacinda led.

    Pandemics and marketing slogans come and go every three years of the political cycle but # Lets do this ! meant assisting and preventing energy poverty and not just the token energy winter payment but not making changes to the wholesale market to return even bigger profits but safeguarding NZLP’s bottom feeders so that they are able to heat water , cook on an electric stove , wash in sub zero temperatures , dry your washed clothing , and sleep in a warm dry bed with all your clothes on and not become sick with inhaling the black mold growing in the rent you are being extorted for every week by the parasites who fund their exorbitant lifestyles and are tax exempt and rewarded by the current government of the property elite.

  8. Real kiwis need to realise that the current government does not care about them .They are only there to serve the 10% that are rich as fuck or the ferral tin hat river of filth that would have us all dead from covid by now .Remember the rich pricks on ZB all saying keep the borders open and the cookers who would not get a vaccination but were happy to go around spreading it to every one they could .


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here