Network Tasman Trust’s deed will still be subject to Commerce Commission regulation after a proposal to apply for exemption was withdrawn at a public meeting on Wednesday.
The trust had been canvassing consumers about changing its Trust Deed but resolved to withdraw the proposal because it failed to get unanimous support from trustees. Terry Kreft, who is the industry-appointed trustee nominated by the three largest consumers, was not willing to support the change because he was concerned the move lacked transparency and could result in consumers paying more for their power.
Terry, who has been an industry-appointed representative on the trust for 18 years, had earlier stated that being regulated ensured power delivery was fairly priced and that there was security of supply. Terry also says regulation did not prevent the company investing in new technologies as long as there was “a sound business case” for the investment.
Chair of the Network Tasman Trust, Gwenny Davis says, “I am naturally disappointed with this decision. I believe it will leave the company in a difficult position in the years to come as it tries to maintain the value of a wires-and-poles network challenged by new technologies whose impact on line companies is growing exponentially – whether we like it or not”.
Trustees also voted to retain consumer ownership of the trust as part of a five-yearly review of its ownership structure. The trust, company and consumers were all overwhelming in favour of continuing with trust ownership.
The trust also re-appointed Sarah-Jane Weir and Jim Williamson as directors of Network Tasman Ltd for a further three year term.
Network Tasman distributes electricity to 37,500 customers around Nelson and Tasman.