Unfortunately Transpower are well behind with grid upgrades as it is. Last year I took my apprentices on a field trip to Manapouri and the Waitaki hydro schemes, I'd never been to Manapouri before and was astounded with the engineering involved. What we have built in the past is incredible, unfortunately the RMA and NIMBY's make the development of significant infrastructure far more expensive and drawn out than ever before.
Rio Tinto really do have the country by the balls here. This should never have been allowed to happen.
The other thing to bear in mind is that everywhere market "reforms" have been introduced into the electricity industry the countries concerned soon found they were having power shortages....which, after all, are FAR more profitable than building more power plants.
Running electricity as a market has been demonstrated fairly conclusively to be a scam.
It's time to go back to the way we used to do electricity. If you need it, you build it. If you need more, you build more. Very simple. It worked.
Instead we have: price rationing and very little new power generation capacity....while generators make big fat profits for NOT producing more power.
Max Bradford and National were warned about this 20 years ago when they brought it in. They didn't listen....and this is just one of the many reasons I never vote for that party. They haven't got a clue. Not then and not now.
As I said before Labor in 9 years did nothing about it either..