Commerce Commission penalties for Vector show why it’s time to change the Entrust Trustees
Today it was revealed that Vector, the Auckland lines company, will face Commerce Commission penalties for failing to deliver its contracted reliability service standards in the 2015 and 2016 financial years.
Entrust, the renamed Auckland Energy Consumer Trust, owns 75.1% of Vector and is elected by the power account holders in the old Auckland City, Manukau City and the northern part of Franklin. Voting papers for the Entrust trustee elections will be arriving in the post from tomorrow (11 October 2018).
“The penalties imposed by the Commerce Commission on Vector show that the Entrust trustees have been asleep at the wheel, on the Auckland electricity consumer priority of reliable power, while spending their time on infighting and plotting to sell off more of Vector” says Peter Neilson, economist, former cabinet minister and City Vision for Entrust Team Leader.
Peter Neilson called on the five current Entrust trustees, Cairns, Buczkowski, Carmichael, Hutchinson and Sherry to front up and explain;
Why did they allow Vector to under-perform its agreed reliability targets in both the 2015 and 2016 financial years?
Why did they then allow this poor performance to continue into the 2017 and 2018 years?
Why has the biennial report on Vector’s system reliability due to be published this year, not yet been tabled on the www.entrustnz.co.nz website? (the 2016 report had been published since 15 September 2016)
Auckland’s population is growing fast and major storms are becoming more frequent so new capital expenditure is required to maintain or improve our power reliability. We have never been so reliant on electricity but the current Entrust trustees have allowed Vector to drop the ball on electricity reliability for Auckland. During the 2018 April storms more than 200,000 Aucklanders found themselves without power. When that happened the Entrust trustees were again missing in action, making no media statements and not seeking any improvements from Vector, a total abdication of their responsibilities as trustees for the consumers.
While we have had another 3 years of infighting between the Entrust trustees, one trustee even taking another trustee other to court, they have completely dropped the ball when it comes to looking after keeping the lights on in Auckland.
A recent poll City Vision commissioned showed that 75% of Aucklanders agree with the statement “In your opinion, should Entrust, as majority owner of Vector, do more to ensure Vector makes sure Auckland’s power supply is better able to keep working in big storms and service is recovered faster?” Only 4% felt it was not important while 22% weren’t sure.
The poll also finds there was massive loss and inconvenience caused by April’s network failure: 90% of Aucklanders say the resilience of the power network, and its ability to work and be restored during and after big storms is important to them. 64% say extremely important.
“The Entrust trustees should apologise to Aucklanders for their poor performance over the past few years.” says Mr Neilson