The Trust is currently managed by 5 elected Trustees of whom 2 retire every second year.
Elections were last held in August 2015, at which time Christine Rupp and Ganges Singh were the successful candidates. Unfortunately, Ganges passed away in August 2016. With elections due in 2017, the Trust continues with four Trustees.
The deed can be found if you hover over the top tool bar tab titled ‘Reports and Documents’ and then click on it.
This is not an easy document to read and to fully understand so the next few sentences are very generic and do not purport to be a substitute. They are a brief overview and given only as a guideline.
Basically, the Deed requires the Trustees to hold the shares of the company (in trust) for the beneficiaries of the Trust (these are the consumers of Counties Power Ltd) until 2072 unless consumers strongly signal otherwise to all Trustees. More on this in the section pertaining to ‘Ownership Review’
Trustees must ensure the value of the shares (which are the major asset of the Trust Fund) increase in the same way as a prudent investor will look to increase the value of personal assets.
In 1993 those shares had a value of $30,797,000. As at 31 March 2015 (under NZ IFRS accounting policies) that value is now $203,699,000.
Additionally there have been benefits (discounts, dividends and pay-outs) to both the Trust and the consumers totalling $164.1 million.
There are numerous duties the Trustees are required to fulfil, but they are all motivated by the overriding requirements that whilst the Consumers require it and the Deed is in existence, the Trustees will retain ownership of the company shares and the value of the company must grow.
Having said that, at no time is a Trustee permitted to act as though he or she is a Director. The Trustees appoint the directors and monitor the company’s performance. The directors make all the policies before giving to the CEO to carry them out through the management team. Apart from removing directors, Trustees may not interfere with matters pertaining to the company.
There is a special section contained within this site on this subject – it is in the tab in the top tool bar labelled Elections – but here is an overview for those who do not want the detail at this time.
A Trustee must live in the district served by the Counties Power network and be nominated and seconded for such a position. All persons must have their name on their electricity account and must reside in the district. Generally, the opportunity comes once every two years in order to maintain the number of Trustees at five
The process begins around June every two years with the final results of the public election (as voted by consumers connected to the network) declared in the following August. The most recent election for vacancies was 2015, therefore the next one will be no later than 2017.
Each Trustee generally serves at least four years (unless they leave the district or are no longer eligible), although this can extend for two years depending upon vacancies and election results.
The duties of every new Trustee begin immediately following the Annual General Meeting – usually held each August.
Training is given and although there is no salary attached to the position, each Trustee is reimbursed for reasonable expenses including a basic annual honorarium. Should the Trust require a Trustee to attend a conference or special event, on producing an invoice, the Trustee shall be reimbursed accordingly.
The Trustees currently contract a Secretary to take care of all administrative matters including manning the office for the Trustees. To date, these Secretaries have been (and are) Chartered Accountants.
Bob Arvidson, Paul Brown, Gail Dowle, Alan MacIntyre, Helen Russell, David Walter, Ganges Singh