City Vision says elect a united team to protect your dividend and stop further sell down of shares

City Vision says elect a united team to protect your dividend and stop further sell down of shares

30 August 2018

City Vision says elect a united team to protect your dividend and stop further sell down of shares

City Vision, a coalition of Labour, Green and community independents, has formed a ticket to change the trustees at Entrust and clean up the current mess.

Entrust, formerly known as the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust, is a trust for Auckland electricity consumers formed in 1993 as part of the then-government’s electricity reforms. It is an elected trust and owns 75.1% of Vector.  Elections for Entrust’s five Trustees are due to take place on 26 October.

"The current five Entrust trustees all - C&R - are fighting amongst themselves, rather than working together to protect your annual $350 dividend and improve the resilience of the electricity supply across Auckland" says City Vision for Entrust campaign spokesperson, candidate and former cabinet minister Peter Neilson.

“While the Chair of Entrust and his supporters deny it, Vector Chair Michael Stiassny - who they are dumping - says they plan to sell down the remaining 75.1% shareholding Entrust holds in Vector. You will recall the previous National Government sold down the public shareholding in the electricity companies we owned to 51%.

“Whatever the situation, Entrust is a mess and it needs to be cleaned up.

“A current Entrust trustee and two Vector directors have been dumped to enable a further sell down to occur in the next three years. One current trustee has gone to court to challenge another trustee’s eligibility to serve on Entrust. This infighting and lack of focus has to stop because the competitive nature of the energy business is changing fast which puts future dividends at risk".

Their disarray means the current Trustees have failed to:

·      Ensure Vector maintains a secure power supply to consumers,

·      Consult with the community

·      Prepare appropriately for a rapidly changing competitive environment.

The trust receives an annual dividend from Vector and distributes it to consumers. There is no evidence the current Entrust trustees have added value to Vector’s performance.

City Vision policy:

·      Opposing any proposal to sell down the Entrust 75.1% shareholding in Vector or to cut or remove the dividend you receive.

·      Appointing qualified directors to Vector that better reflect the diversity of Auckland and are able and committed to maintaining the dividend paid annually.

·      Seeking independent advice on how to:

-       ensure Vector remains profitable

-       make Auckland’s electricity supply more resilient,

-       deal with a rapidly changing competitive environment,

-       accelerate the current undergrounding program,

-       ensure our interests as investors, consumers and the community can be appropriately balanced.

·      Using that advice combined with regular consultation with and polling of our community, to build a shared vision of the future between Entrust trustees, Vector directors and our dividend recipients.

·      After a year to assess the relative workloads of Trustees we will review the $343,000 in director’s fees paid annually to the trustees with the aim of reducing the total amount paid.

Joining Mr Neilson as candidates are local board member Glenda Fryer, renewables expert Richard Leckinger, prominent barrister Simon Mitchell, and former First Union secretary Robert Reid.

“It is time for a group of trustees who will work positively together acting in the best interests of consumers to maintain and protect the annual dividend. A vote for the City Vision candidates is a vote to put the trust back into Entrust,” says Mr Neilson.

Entrust elections

Voting is by postal ballot with voting papers delivered from Thursday 11 October 2018 and to be received by the Returning Officer before 5pm Friday 26 October 2018.  In general terms voting papers go to those with a power account in Auckland, Manukau, northern Papakura and eastern Franklin (the old AEPB area).

Contacts:
Peter Neilson            peter@neilson.net.nz
Robert Gallagher     rrgallagher@actrix.co.nz

Candidate information

Peter Neilson B Com, MInstD,

Peter is an economist, former MP and cabinet minister. He is also a former CEO, (NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development, Financial Services Council), an international electricity consultant including leading a review of the Jakarta electricity company (serving a population of 10 million) and an experienced director and trustee (Simplicity Trust, WWF-NZ, ACC). He is currently the Managing Director of Thoroughbred Consultants. His hobbies include, going to the gym, reading, mainly non-fiction, family history and genealogy and breeding thoroughbred racehorses. He bred the Champion steeplechaser Cuchulainn.

Peter was brought up in Glendowie and lives with his wife in Ladies Mile, Ellerslie. They have two adult children who also live in Auckland. He has a particular interest, after the April storms which cut power for 183,000 Aucklanders, in making our power company Vector‘s services more resilient. He also wants a better balance between our interests as investors and consumers represented by Vector and the trust respectively to help maintain the dividend we receive each year.

Peter will lead the City Vision Team and be the overall spokesperson for the campaign.

 

Glenda Fryer MA(Hons),

Glenda has many years proven governance leadership experience; 18 years as an Auckland City Councillor and is a current Mt Albert/Eden Local Board member leading the Local Economic Development Portfolio. She was Chair of the Council’s Planning and Regulatory Committee and is a member of the Tupuna Maunga Authority. She is a former, University business senior lecturer and member of the Auckland Business Development Council.

Glenda was brought up in Onehunga and owns a bach on the Pohutukawa Coast at Orere Point with her husband. They have four young adult children living in Auckland. Her interests are live theatre, reading novels, festival movies and gardening.

Glenda has been leading the public campaign for more undergrounding of powerlines and will be our spokesperson on that issue. She will help prudently manage Vector and your dividend.

 

Richard Leckinger MSc RE (Renewable Energy),

Richard wrote his thesis on integrating renewables (solar, wind and geothermal) into New Zealand's grid. He is a business owner and a former Ministerial Advisor on Energy Efficiency. We need Richard on the trust to help manage the most exciting and challenging changes in the electricity sector in more than a century. Doing that while preserving your annual dividend will take both his skills and experience. Richard has been based in Auckland for 26 years and lives in Grafton.

He is active in the arts including film and television and enjoys both yoga and meditation.

Richard will be our spokesperson on renewable energy, the emerging competition and climate change.

 

Simon Mitchell LLB(Hons),

Simon works as a barrister specialising in employment and family law. He is a former Partner in a city law firm. Simon is also experienced in governance and working well in a team. Simon is committed to ensuring a modern reliable power supply to Auckland and a profitable Vector. Simon has an interest in the arts, Simon rides an electric bike and has three teenage children who share his commitment for the environment. Simon was brought up in Auckland and lives in Freeman’s Bay. He is the Deputy Chair of the Mt Albert Grammar School Board.

Simon will be our spokesperson on probity at the trust and on legal issues.

 

Robert Reid Graduate Diploma in Economic Development,

Robert has a lifetime of experience in advocating for New Zealanders for whom every dollar of income and expense counts. He recently retired as General Secretary of FIRST Union, one of NZ’s largest trade unions. Robert has also served on a number of industry and industry training boards and for two years as a Ministerial Advisor. He now has the time and passion to advocate for the interests of Auckland’s electricity consumers.

Over the years Robert has been involved in a number of campaigns to keep public assets in public hands. He has been prompted to stand as an Entrust trustee due to reports of current trustees wanting to hock off consumer owned shares in Vector.

Robert lives in South Auckland and is involved in many diverse South Auckland communities. He is a doting grandfather and can often be found enjoying a walk along the shores of the Manukau Harbour.

Robert will be our spokesperson on consumer issues.

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