It’s time to change the Trustees at Entrust
Why you need to vote for a change.
The Entrust trustees are fighting amongst themselves, rather than working together to protect your annual dividend and improve the resilience of the electricity supply across Auckland.
Entrust is the old Auckland Energy Consumer Trust. Entrust holds 75.1% of the shares in Vector (worth more than $2.1 billion) on behalf of the Vector customers living in the old Auckland Electric Power Board (AEPB) area. Entrust will pay a dividend of $350 to each power customer in the eligible area. Every three years a postal election is held for the 5 Entrust trustees. 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
The Chair of Entrust denies it, but the independent Chair of Vector Michael Stiassny who they recently dumped, 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%.
Back in 2014 two former National Party Presidents promoted a business sector proposal to sell the trust’s remaining shareholding in Vector and give the proceeds to Auckland Council which would mean no annual dividend would be paid to you or other beneficiaries.
Current trustees and 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 nature of the energy business is changing fast.
Until recently a local electricity distribution (lines) business was considered to be a “natural monopoly” that everyone had to use as they sourced their electricity. That is now rapidly changing.
Locally sourced and cost competitive renewables, particularly solar combined with cheaper and more powerful batteries, partially driven by the take up of electric vehicles means two things for Vector;
- They are likely to be supply less power to each of its customers, and
- They will become more of an insurance policy for reliable supply than the sole deliverer of all electricity consumed.
The storms back in April, left 183,00 Vector customers without power, some for more than a week. Enstust trustees in April were all seen to be missing in action. The Trust made no statement then or since about how they will use the trusts 75.1% ownership to press for a more reliable and resilient electricity supply for Auckland. Undergrounding power lines and removing poles reduces the chances a falling tree will cut power in a storm. Climate scientists for some 20 years have advised us that major weather events like tropical storms and hurricanes will become more frequent. We need a plan for greater resilience and faster recovery in our city when major storms occur.
Entrust had an agreement with Vector to spend $10.5 million each year on undergrounding.
The Entrust trustees have allowed Vector to cut the spending on undergrounding so it will now take more than 3000 years to complete the undergrounding of poles and lines at the recent rate of progress
First the current trustees took the “consumer” out of the name of the Trust, then they took the “trust” out of Entrust.
It is time to dump the current trustees and vote for the City Vision team that will work together to maintain and protect your annual dividend.
City Vision Policy
Maintain and protect your annual dividend by:
- 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.
City Vision’s candidates
This positive plan can only be achieved if a majority of the City Vision Team of Glenda Fryer, Richard Leckinger, Simon Mitchell, Peter Neilson and Robert Reid are elected in October. To vote look out for your voting papers arriving in the mail after 11 October 2018.