posted on May, 30 2007 @ 05:34 PM
As I understand it the Samoan mother of four had been working until 6 weeks ago when she had to go to hospital. The previously two income household
lost half it's income and fell behind. They did receive a written warning, but their English was poor. When the contractor turned up to disconnect
the deceased mother and eldest son took the contractor inside the house to show him her oxygen concentrator machine (Respiratory patients aren't
allowed bottled oxygen at home). The son reports that the contractor shrugged his shoulders and said
"I'm only doing my job."
The contractor may now face manslaughter charges. The management might follow for not allowing any discretion. It was reported in the news this
morning that just a few days before the same contractor had been sent to cut off power to an old people's home.
It has caused outrage in NZ. Up until about 15 years ago electricity was supplied by the government to municipal power companies operated by municipal
In a move to bring in greater efficiencies and touted to bring lower power prices, ownership of both wholesale and retail power supply was privatised.
There are now more than a dozen private power utilities in a country of only 4million people. Power prices have trebled in that time and power
companies have become quite aggressive in chasing bad debt. One power company disconnects 1400 clients each month showing that problems are
Government claims to run a welfare system that will help people who can't cope, but in reality staff of the government welfare agency get bopnus
payments for not advising clients of the welfare entitlements as measured by how much they can save in payments. Welfare agencies in NZ are adept at
turning away struggling people.
There has been a wave of public indignation in NZ at this news story however. Many people are choosing to disconnect from mercury Energy in protest.
Especially as the CEO of Mercury Energy came on TV denying that the Power company knew the mother had life threatening problems. The tearful family
say otherwise and the company are perceived not only as bullies but now as liars after the fact.
[edit on 30-5-2007 by sy.gunson]