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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Nau Mai Rā

Kaupapa Māori power retailer Nau Mai Rā has launched a petition imploring power generators and Government to work together in providing better electricity outcomes for vulnerable communities.

In two weeks, the petition has gained over 3,000 signatures.

Nau Mai Rā co-founder Ezra Hirawani says he hopes the petition will not only make systemic change, but spread awareness about the proportion of New Zealanders living in power poverty.

“Power poverty is defined as a household spending more than 10 percent of their income on power. But we think of it like this, if you don’t have enough energy in your home to meet the needs of your whānau– keeping them warm, keeping them fed– you’re living in power poverty.”

The petition calls for electricity generators to provide fair and affordable wholesale pricing to energy retailers representing vulnerable communities. The Government is requested to nominate a last resort energy retailer that won’t turn anyone away, and make affordable wholesale pricing a requirement for electricity generators.

“These requests are about the Government, energy generators, and energy retailers working together for whānau in the spirit of manaakitanga.”

17 percent of New Zealanders had trouble paying their power bills last year (Consumer NZ, 2020). And in the region of Tai Tokerau alone, approximately 1 in 4 or 15,485 households spend 10 percent or more of household income on electricity (Census, 2018).

New Zealand’s residential power prices have risen 48 per cent since 2000, which is faster than those in most other OECD countries (EPR, 2019). And according to ICCC (2019), the Government’s 100 percent carbon neutral goal will increase prices further and disproportionately impact Māori.

“The Government voiced its commitment to reduce the socio-economic gap between Māori and Pākehā with its Māori Manifesto last year. Now we’re presenting an opportunity to make real change where it’s needed,” says Hirawani.

Nau Mai Rā applies a Te Ao Māori world view to delivering electricity, which means a commitment to turning no customer away, and turning no home’s electricity off. They have 1,000 customers signed up, approximately 10,000 waiting to join and are looking at investment options that are beneficial to the cause. A portion of each customers’ power bill goes to their chosen kaupapa.

Supporters are called to sign and share the petition.

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About Nau Mai Rā

As Aotearoa’s first kaupapa Māori energy retailer, Nau Mai Rā’s core purpose is Eliminating Power Poverty Through the Spirit of Manaakitanga.  They do this by:

Delivering service to whānau off a highly efficient and cost effective SaaS platform which enables them to offer power rates that are highly competitive

A portion of each customer bill is returned to the community through koha

Those struggling most with power hardship can access NMR’s “Whānau Fund” to help them through and avoid power disconnections

Connecting whānau with agencies to assist creating healthier homes and better health outcomes

Using the current ‘business as usual’ data available, it’s estimated that over 3 years, NMR will grow to service 10,000 customers and deliver over $2m in power savings over that time plus over $1m of koha will have been returned to the community.