How about providing Fonterra with the same energy deal as the smelter? At least the added value stays in NZ.
RT's current deal is through to 2016, with clauses for wind down and remediation if they cut and run early. That would certainly soften the blow over an extended period. If RT are intent on quitting NZ anyhow then we are just throwing tax payers funds down the drain. If the government is willing to do this, then why didn't they step in when all they jobs disappeared from Solid Energy or Telecom? RT are trying to leverage the Government's concern about the Mighty River Power share price to get us to virtually guarantee the price of aluminium through lower energy prices.
As for the carbon arguement, so we smelt aluminium here to save Australian power stations from burning coal, then we need to burn coal at Huntly to make up the electricity shortfall. So we pay the carbon charges. Go figure.
I suggest the government tell RT to "not let the doorknob hit them in the butt on the way out".