High Powered Japanese Great Interest In Local Economy, Rotorua

A visiting delegation of the Chugoku Economic Federation from the Hiroshima region of Japan has shown strong interest in the wood processing, tourism and geothermal industries and presents an important opportunity for Rotorua’s economy, according to Rotorua MP Todd McClay. Mr McClay welcomed the high powered business delegation to New Zealand as Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade in a speech in Wellington yesterday. “This visit reflects strong interest in New Zealand from Japanese economic groups in recent years and is very welcome,” said Mr McClay. Delegations from the highly influential Japan Business Federation and Kansai Economic Federation visited New Zealand in 2014. “Japan is New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner and fourth largest source of foreign investment. We therefore welcome these visits and the opportunities they present to strengthen trade and investment links.” The delegation has a particular interest in New Zealand’s renewable energy policies and tourism strategies and will be visiting Rotorua, Kawerau and Christchurch. “We are keen to increase the use of renewable energy as a way to deal with climate change and while there is already considerable cooperation between New Zealand and Japan in geothermal energy, we see the scope to do more together as Japan develops its geothermal resource,” says Mr McClay. “A number of the companies represented in the delegation already have long-standing investments in New Zealand and we welcome opportunities to deepen those relationships.”   Find more information...

UnitedFuture Did Not Support Green Party Bill.

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne did not support the Greens Renewable Energy Bill led by energy and resources spokesman Gareth Hughes as he finds it unnecessary. According to Mr Dunne, there’s no need for greens renewable energy bill since over 80 per cent (in 2014) of New Zealand’s electricity is already generated from renewable sources and increasing solar power generation would not make a huge difference environmentally as it would displace other renewable generation such as wind and geothermal. “Consumers already have a choice of retailers, offering competitive buy-back prices for excess solar generation and are New Zealander’s are voting with their wallets for renewable energy alternatives, such as solar, and that is creating an increasingly competitive and growing market. “To claim, as the Greens’ do, that this bill is not a subsidy is typical artifice – by requiring retailers to artificially set a 10-year buy-back rate, increased costs will be ultimately passed through to other electricity consumers. “ “Moreover, all this will occur at a time when consumers are seeing increasing competition in the electricity market leading to flat and decreasing prices.” The majority of New Zealand’s electricity generation is renewable and at 80 per cent in 2014, it is the highest in nearly two decades. “This is likely to increase in future with the closure of fossil-fuelled generation such as in Huntly and Otahuhu with the result that the target of 90 per renewable generation capacity is likely to be achieved by 2025 without the need for the type of Stalinist 5 year plans offered by the Greens.” Mr Dunne said he has no problem with the Green’s worthy objectives...