Thursday, May 31, 2007

If you can't pay your electricity bill you haven't earnt that oxygen

There's a protest tomorrow against Mercury Energy and I'd urge anyone in Auckland who can to go along:

Mercury Energy, 602 Great South Road in Green Lane,
Thurs 31 May (today) at 4pm

Mercury Energy* killed Folole Muliaga when they cut off her electricity, she was on oxygen at the time.

* Or one of their subcontractors, who they keep on hand specifically to cut wages and avoid responsibility.


  1. Anonymous6:45 am

    Do you think that the family should have taken some responsibilty to provide care for the mother after the power disconnection by running a power lead from the neighbours, or calling an ambulance straight away, or moving her to a house where there was power?

    I know if a member of my family was in that situation, pro-active would have been the operative word and I would not have sat around for two hours watching a loved one struggle.

    In that sense the family are as culpable as Mercury energy in not providing the neccessaties for life.

    Both parites are guilty of "murder". (a far to strong a word as it was not premeditated)

  2. Anonymous7:30 am

    anne - my understanding from the newspaper article is that she started struggling to breathe as soon as the power was cut, family called an ambulance immediately, she was taken to hospital but later died.

    I'd like to know why there was no back-up source of power if she was completely dependent, but that's unlikely to be the family's fault.

  3. Anonymous8:51 am

    If it was that vital, any power outage in the area would have been a major problem for the family. As a reserve they should have had bottled oxygen available in an emergency. Something the doctors could have easily have perscibed and not cost the family a cent.

    Also think this protest is more about anti-corporation and anti-capitalism then a protest about turning the power off in a house.

    IMHO, if she died 2 hours after being given oxygen in the ambulance then the cause of death may be completely unrelated. We need to see all the facts, not just what the media print.

  4. Anonymous9:02 am

    OK, I'm not a doctor, but even if it wasn't the cause (and I suspect it was) it does seem pretty clear that Mercury Energy cut off the electricity of someone who had a medical need for it.

    I'm not organising the protest, but isn't it possible for it to be both? Capitalism and corporations kill people. This is one example of it, and just as this particular example should be protested against, so should the system that allowed it to happen.

  5. Anonymous12:01 pm

    "Capitalism and corporations kill people. This is one example of it, and just as this particular example should be protested against, so should the system that allowed it to happen."

    yes i am sure that there are no power problems in such non capitalist countries as north korea. Surely if these unionists and organisers were such caring citizens they woudl have paid teh power bill......But of course we wouldnt want people ot wait a few minutes until the full story to come out.

    You were very quick to get on the high horse regarding the right to justice for the alleged victims of police rape. Dont the other parties involved in this have a right to tell their story?

  6. Anonymous1:13 pm

    Did I say that capitalism was the only system I disagree with? Or that North Korea isn't capitalist?

    I'm not sure whether the second part was aimed at me or Maia, but there is a difference between women who have to struggle to make their voice heard and a large company with full time employees devoted to media and public relations.

    Not that I've got a problem with them giving their side of the story, I'm just not going to side with them beforehand against all the currently available evidence.

  7. Anonymous6:17 pm

    No power in a house where the family is in poverty can cause sickness because of freezing cold. I also read a story I never forget a woman walked in the room of her child and realised how freezing cold it was and the child had died. It is called cot death but that was very likely to have been caused by the freezing cold. If we didn't have heat in our house right now my daughter and I (we both have asthma) would be in a dire situation pretty soon because of breathing in freezing cold air. Power is pretty-much a necessity. We are supposed to be in a developed country. My thoughts go out to the family of Folole Muliaga. I'm sick of corporations and even organisations like WINZ making stress for people who are unwell. That is the very least that Mercury Energy did to Mrs Folole. They just don't care.

  8. Since when is a 100% state owned company a great example of private enterprise capitalism?

    How vile is it that there are people who jump to conclusions and use this woman's death to justify their political campaign.

    and North Korea isn't capitalist, private property barely exists and there is virtually no private enterprise (and the price of most things has nothing to do with profit - except the black market).

  9. There is also a rally outside the Electricity Commission, ASB Bank Tower at 2 Hunter Street (corner of Hunter and Victoria), Wellington, tomorrow at 12:30pm.