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Implications for TECT on Trustpower strategic review
Implications for TECT on Trustpower strategic review

On 28 January 2021, Trustpower announced they would undertake a strategic review of their retail business, including a potential sale. Whilst no decision on whether to sell the business has yet been made by Trustpower, their decision to review the business has implications for the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT), which is a 26.8% shareholder in Trustpower.  Essentially any decision by Trustpower to sell their retail business would frustrate TECT’s Trust Deed - as TECT’s beneficiaries would no longer be Trustpower’s local retail customers, and therefore no longer eligible for a rebate.  

In considering the implications for TECT, Trustees believe that the structure of TECT needs to be future-proofed even if the current strategic review by Trustpower does not lead to a sale in the short term as it demonstrates ongoing uncertainty around the ownership of Trustpowers retail business.  Under TECT’s Trust Deed, Trustees have a duty to both protect existing beneficiaries as well as future generations in the Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty community.

TECT is now seeking views from current beneficiaries on a proposed future structure that would see the rebate protected for existing beneficiaries for approximately the next 30 years, together with the establishment of a new long-term community trust focused on grants for local community projects.

Priority One Chief Executive, Nigel Tutt, believes TECT’s Trustees have struck the right balance between protecting existing Trustpower customers in the Western Bay (TECT beneficiaries) and benefiting future generations through the establishment of a community trust, which has the potential to play a significant role in the sustainability of local community services, thus benefiting everyone in the Western Bay.

Full details of the proposed changes are set out in a notice of proposal which was recently sent to TECT stakeholders.  Beneficiaries who would like to give feedback on the proposal are invited to make a written submission by 4 pm 22 March 2021. TECT Trustees are also holding three consumer information sessions on the following dates:

Wednesday, 3 March - 6.30 pm - Club Mount Maunganui, 45 Kawaka Street, Mount Maunganui.

Thursday, 4 March - 2.30 pm - Tauranga Yacht Club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Tauranga.

Sunday, 7 March - 12 pm - Te Manawaroa, Level 1 University of Waikato, 101 Durham Street, Tauranga.

“I urge all TECT beneficiaries and local residents to familiarize themselves with TECT's proposal and lend their support to Trustees in what is a transformational opportunity to help future-proof our community for the long-term,” says Nigel.

To learn more, go to the TECT website.