Northland's local body leaders are backing growing anger over new electricity price guidelines that will charge the region more for transmission.
The three mayors as well as chair of the Northland Regional Council are calling for the Electricity Authority's Transmission Pricing Methodogy (TPM) to be scrapped immediately and for the government to intervene in the electricity market.
Northland lines companies Northpower and Top Energy, Federated Farmers, and numerous community groups have made similar calls.
Under the authority's guidelines released about two weeks ago, each household in Whangārei and Kaipara will pay an extra $24 a year and those in the Far North district an additional $43 in transmission charges.
Energy Minister Megan Woods has not ruled out a government intervention into the electricity market, saying she was seeking advice on the matter.
• More pain for Northland power users post review
Northland Mayoral Forum chairman and Kaipara mayor Jason Smith said the TPM was grossly unfair and would hit households in Te Tai Tokerau with a substantial financial burden.
"If you look at the authority's poor logic around user pays, we should be charging people in Wellington and the South Island more for diesel and internet simply because Refining NZ and the Hawaiki Cable are here in Northland and those people are further away.
"Under the proposal, the electricity pricing model is radically changed and that is not the way the national grid was constructed. It was built for all New Zealanders to have equal and fair access to it.
"We only have to look at the impacts on Northland from outages on the national grid year after year to see just how exposed Northland is to an unreliable electricity supply. And the EA [Electricity Authority] says we should be paying more? It just doesn't make sense," he said.
"This change will drive up power prices for families, farmers, businesses, schools and healthcare facilities."
Smith said large pockets of Northland were deprived and poor and energy poverty was very real in the region.
"It is a major problem and people are already struggling to survive financially, particularly on the back of Covid and the severe drought we have experienced. Heaping more economic stress on people could have dire impacts on wellbeing."
The authority said the tranmission pricing was contentious and no single option could deliver a consensus.
It said the decision focused on benefits to all consumers, not just individual parties.