NZ exemption sought

New Zealand-based company, Infrastructure & Utilities NZ (Infratil) is seeking a temporary exemption from electricity industry reform regulations over separating lines and retailing businesses. Infratil is an investment company with stakes in both lines and retailing companies.

Under reforms introduced last year, companies must separate their distribution and retailing businesses. Infratil is seeking a buyer for its holdings in regional lines companies CentralPower and Powerco, and says that it is unlikely to find one by the July 1 deadline. It has therefore asked New Zealand`s Commerce Commission for a one year exemption. Infratil, together with Alliant International New Zealand, owns a 36.2 per cent stake in regional electricity retailer Trustpower Ltd.