Utilities Regulation Policy
Utilities Regulation Policy 2023
At the Cabinet meeting of 21 September 2023, Cabinet approved Crown Law to prepare a Utilities Regulation (Electricity, Water and Sewerage Services) Bill. The proposed Bill is to be based on the attached Utilities Policy.
The proposed Bill and Utilities Policy are the responsibility of the Economics and Planning Division (EPD) of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management.
Versions of a draft Bill were released for public consultation throughout 2023, to allow stakeholders the chance to comment. Copies of the latest version of the proposed Bill are available from the Ministry of Finance & Economic Management, Economic Planning Division. Contact us on 29511 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regulation of Utilities has been planned for some time. A brief timeline of the reforms are set out below:
September 2017 Telecommunications regulations are discussed
October 2019 Government approves policy including a multi sector regulator
2019/2020 Telecommunications regime started, including CRA establishment
2021-2023 Electricity and water regulation policy developed and consulted
June 2023 Utilities Bill drafted, consulted and revised
September 2023 Utilities policy approved by Cabinet
What does the Utilities Regulation Policy do?
The Utilities Regulation Policy allows for the Competition Regulatory Authority’s (CRA) expansion so that it can regulate our utilities companies. Regulation can provide independent oversight of customer service, quality of supply and the fairness of prices.
The companies delivering utilities services in the Cook Islands are: Te Aponga Uira, To Tatou Vai, and Te Mana Uira o Araura. In each case, these companies are the only providers of the services in their market. Economics tells us that where there is a single provider the level of service is not what consumers want for the prices they pay.
At a broader level, the economy of the Cook Islands is changing; we are no longer able to rely on international grants to provide our infrastructure, particularly on Rarotonga and Aitutaki. We are moving to self-funding our utilities, and it is important that these utilities can provide their services efficiently. As the internet is increasingly used to manage how services are provided, we need to make sure electricity and water regulations work together with regulations for telecommunications.
The Policy does not include a plan to regulate the utilities services provided by island governments of the Pa Enua. This is because regulation may impose costs and complexities that our Island governments would not be adequately resourced for. Island governments’ utility services can be included at a later stage if the Government wishes to extend the benefits of regulation to them.
The multi-sector CRA is expected to be the most effective way of regulating given the small scale of the Cook Islands. It will benefit from combining admin functions and regulatory skills in one organisation rather than having multiple regulators reviewing a single sector.
The CRA’s core role is to regulate utility prices and customer service levels. The CRA will also be responsible for licensing utilities to provide services, including enforcing compliance with standards, and dealing with allowing access to utility networks. The CRA would help ensure the sustainability of the significant levels of investment currently being made in the electricity (renewable energy) and water (Te Mato Vai) and sewage (Mei Te Vai Ki Te Vai) sectors.
Electrical worker, water worker and safety requirements are described in the Policy. These requirements are needed to ensure that water and electrical installations are safe and compliant.
To tatou reo
Ko te uira e te vai, nā te Kamupani ki raro ake i te Kavamani te reira e tuʻa ana e ko rātou ʻua rai ta te tangata ka tāʻangaʻanga. Me kāre te tangata e ʻinangaro i tētai tauturu takakē, ko te tauturu te ka rauka mai, pēnei ka iti mai te reira mei tei mātauʻia mē kāre ka ʻōʻonu atu te tūtakiʻanga.
Ei rāvenga i te ʻakapāpu e, kia rauka te tūranga meitaki o te uira e te vai, e kāre te rēvera tūtaki i teitei atu i tei ʻakanoʻoʻia, e kia riro ei meitaki ki te tuʻanga kimi pūʻapinga o te Kuki Airani. Ko te kātoatoa, mei te ngutuʻare e te au tuʻanga kimi pūʻapinga, te ʻirinaki nei te reira ki runga i te kaveʻanga uira e te vai.
Te anoano nei Kavamani i te ʻakapāpū e, ko te ʻakapouʻanga ta rātou i tuku ki roto i te uira nātura, te kaveinga o te vai, e te tuʻanga vairanga repo kia riro mai te reira ei tūranga mātūtū. Kua ʻātui ki roto i te tūranga mātūtū te ʻakapāpūʻanga e ko te moni ka tiātiʻia ki te aronga ʻangaʻanga ka rava te reira no te tūtaki i te au tuʻanga e ʻakatere nei kia rauka i te ʻakaʻoki ʻakaʻōu i te moni ki roto i te au ʻapinga ka anoanoʻia kia meitaki e kia tau te tūranga o te au ʻapinga ʻangaʻanga.
Ka ʻinangaro katoa te Kavamani i te ʻakapāpū e, e ʻakatereʻanga tau to te ʻōrongaʻanga raitini e te au ture no te aronga ʻangaʻanga uira. Ka riro tēia i te tiaki i te aronga tāmoumou uira e te pāruru i tēia tuʻanga.
Ko te ture tētai kaveinga no te ʻakapāpū e ko te moni ʻoko ta te tangata ka ʻakapou kāre te reira i teitei kino me kāre i māmā roa. Ka ʻākara matatio te ʻakatere ture kia āruʻia te au takaʻinga tau e te rāvenga pāruru.Ki roto nei i te Kuki Airani, kua ʻangaʻia tētaʻi kōpapa ture ʻakapūʻapinga no te tuʻanga ʻātiutiu karere – Te Emoanga e te Kopapa Ture(CRA). I tēia nei ka rauka ia mātou i te apai mai i tētaʻi ture o te uira, te vai e te vairanga repo ki raro ake CRA.
Te anoano nei te Kavamani i te tuku i tētaʻi ture tāmanako no te aronga tāmoumou uira ki roto i te Paramani i tēia mataʻiti. Ko te ʻakakoroʻanga o te ture tāmanako koia ko te tauturu i te raitiniʻanga e te āruʻanga i te ture no te aronga ʻangaʻanga uira ma te ʻakapāpū e ko te tuʻanga ʻangaʻanga o te uira te vai e te vairanga repo kia raveʻia te reira na roto i te mataara meitaki, kare e manamanatā, e kia vai te puʻapinga ki te aronga ka tāʻangaʻanga no tētai tuātau roa.
Ka kaveʻia tēia koronga na roto i te ʻakamouʻanga i tētaʻi ʻakanoʻoʻanga te ka riro i te:
Akapāpū e kia ngāteitei, kia pāruruʻia, kia mātūtū e kia ʻirinakiʻia te tuʻanga o te uira, te vai e te vairanga repo.
Kāre e ārairaiʻanga, pikikaʻa kore e te taui pōitirere.
Totoʻa i te tū memeitaki ki te kātoatoa.
ʻAnga i te ʻakairo tau, kia rauka te ʻakapouʻanga meitaki ki roto i te vai e te kaveinga uira.
Ki roto i te Ture Tāmanako no te Aronga Tamoumou Uira, ka ʻōrongaʻia te mana ki te CRA no te:
Kia rauka i te pāruru i te tangata, pērā te ʻakanoʻoʻanga o te ture kia āruʻia.
Rave i te ʻakatanoʻanga ki runga i te moni ʻoko pākau e pērā te kaveinga moni(me tiāti mai te tuanga tauturu i ta rātou raveʻanga ʻangaʻanga.
ʻAkanoʻo i te tūranga tau no te au kaveinga e mānganui, te au ʻapinga te ka tāʻangaʻangaʻia e te au ʻangaʻanga ka raveʻia.
ʻAkanoʻo i te peapa ʻāpiʻi no te aronga ʻangaʻanga(ʻākaraʻanga,te aronga ʻangaʻanga tāmoumou uira)
Kia aere ʻuātu tēia tauturu noātu, me tupu tētaʻi tūmatetenga pōʻitirere.
Ōronga i tētaʻi ʻakamāramaʻanga kaveinga ʻangaʻanga ki te ʻiti tangata e tētaʻi au manamanatā takakē.
Ka ʻāriki rekareka mātou i te au manako tā te ʻiti tangata ka ʻātui mai ki roto i tēia ʻakakoroʻanga ma te ʻakapāpū e kia rongoʻia te reo o te kātoatoa.