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Former Nat Deputy Leader Appointed To Electricity Commission

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, May 12 NZPA - Former National Party deputy leader Roger Sowry has been appointed to the board of the Electricity Commission.

Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee said Mr Sowry had been appointed for a three-year term.

The commission is in charge of electricity supply planning and ensuring there were no power shortages.

Reports critical of the commission as an unnecessary bureaucratic layer have been backed by Mr Brownlee and its future is under review.

Mr Brownlee said Mr Sowry was highly qualified for the job as he was a former energy minister.

In fact, Mr Sowry was a social welfare minister from 1996 to 1999 and National's energy spokesman while in opposition.

He retired from Parliament in 2005.

A former Labour Energy Minister Stan Rodger is currently on the Electricity Commission with his term expiring later this year.

Prime Minister John Key said he would not describe Mr Sowry as a party hack and he was qualified for the job.

"We are not going to preclude people solely because they've been involved with the National Party. If we were to do that then the talent pool is going to be substantially reduced," Mr Key said.

"I think we have been reasonably fair."

Since leaving Parliament Mr Sowry has been chairman of Arthritis New Zealand and recently began working for lobbyists Saunders Unsworth.

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