Here’s a new local grassroots initiative you might want to look into …

 This citizens group is advocating a re-look at the Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers Trust, which holds 100% of the shares of Unison.

The Trust’s main purpose is to receive an annual dividend from Unison and pass a bit of it (lately in the $250 range) along to you, if you are a local power customer (and therefore, a shareholder).

The Trust costs about $750,000 each year to perform that function. Nominally, the Trust ‘oversees’ Unison, chiefly by rubber-stamping the company’s professional board. suggests this arrangement adds little value to you, the shareholder, and should be re-evaluated, as it must be this year as required by the Trust deed, with serious consideration given to simply distributing the Unison shares directly to the shareholders … like you.

They estimate each share has a value in the $12,000 range.

If you’d like to know more, visit their website or Facebook page.


Join the Conversation


  1. This sounds like privatisation to me. It will end up like the UK, where, after the utilities were sold off to individuals, large foreign companies bought up the shares, loaded the companies with debt, stripped out the assets and left the companies unable to fund future replacement of assets until the systems collapsed. Short termism again! Do not go down this road!

  2. It sounds too good to be true and probably is. What are the other facts that saw HBPCT set up in the first place?

    1. If it ain’t broke don’t mend it.
      Community asset for community amenity – keep it that way

  3. Another attempt by the Right to grab public assets, eh? Cause you can bet someone’s lined up to buy. I note they’re free to throw round the cost of running the Trust ($750k) as if it’s significant when that’s only about $5 per head, but very thin on benefits (guessing a share might be worth $12k, when the asset-backing is only $8k… and a buyer would try for less). Plus no word on how renters, who don’t necessarily own an ICP but pay the bill and could benefit most from sale, might be dealt with. And so on. Dodgy as….
    ps: i assume this is actually advertising….

    1. Why do you assume the “Right” are behind this? I agree it’s not a good idea to privatise the Trust, but to point the finger at people that don’t have the same political views as yourself is just tawdry.
      I doubt this will ever see the light of day, the invisible organisers are merely looking for a free lunch.

    2. Bruce with respect, I think you need to do your homework. And try not to scaremonger about a so grab by the right BS!
      After all, 49% of the shares in the Port of Napier got flogged off with hardy a boo.
      And us the supposed owners through the Hawkes Bay Regional Council got paid SFA!
      At least with the power we could choose to sell the shares subject to valuation of between 12 – 16,000 DOLLARS! or keep them! And take the yearly divi. The consumers name on the account is the one that is entitled.
      In my humble opinion. It would have been a great boost to the whole Hawkes Bay economy. Especially those in need! Opportunity lost? I sincerely hope not.

  4. And another thing! If you check out this website, there are no names of the organisers. I wonder why? As Bruce says, are Bay Buzz being paid for this article? Shame on them. I also apologise for the lack of sentences in my earlier post. Put it down to anger!

  5. Not advertising. Simply intended to elicit discussion of a valid question … hopefully informed, intelligent, not knee-jerk. Do we need a HB Power Consumers Trust? Some other regions do without … and manage to keep their lights on.

  6. Oh dear! The usual comments from the ill-informed.
    If you pay the power bill [directly] then you are the ICP “owner”. All people who receive a “dividend” payment today would be beneficiaries. And, no arbitrary unfair limit of 3 dividends per customer.
    What about doing some research before criticising.

  7. Why should shares/assets built up over so long by so many for the good of the continuing community be distributed to shareholders on one specific date, rather than remain a continuing asset for the community? It means someone who has just shifted into the district and contributed nothing gets a windfall and those who have just shifted away, having contributed for many years, get nothing. The trust was set up for the continuing good of the consumers into the future.

  8. Heather’s comment is bang on the money – it’s not “ours” to give away, and reading the website it appears the rationale for this movement is simply about accessing the value of the “free” shares. The real question is whether there is a value add to current (and future) consumers of having this infrastructure service provider privatized. A point made clear in an earlier posting. Anyone?

  9. Sadly Lots of misinformed comments on here. The Port sold off 49% of its shares, held by the Hawks Bay Regional Council, owned by you. And there was hardly a boo.
    Yet here we see all number of scaremongering uneducated accusations, about the proposal to sell- off the consumers shares in the HBPCT.
    I say let’s wait untill all the cards are placed on the table for all to see?
    We consummers know we can expect to receive a yearly dividend of approximately $250. Whilst the Trustees get handsomely paid 40-20 thousand yearly plus meeting allowances for merely rubber stamping.
    What we do not know as yet, as it would be subject to valuation, is what amount lump sum, cash payment each individual consumer would receive, which could well be anything up to $12,000 plus?
    In the mean time let us at least look at all options, as more information hopefully comes to hand? With an open mind.
    Even if we decided to sell it ? We consumers would still be protected by the Crown Entity ,The Electrical Supply Authority.

  10. I’ve no time for a person who creates a website /facebook page like “free the funds” and hides their identity . Highly suspicious

    1. OK, I believe consumers got paid out this year for the reason The Ownership was up for Review? Funny No! how all the advertisements placed by the Trust were for people to register for the $240 Dividend. Yet there was Next to None explaining the Options open to us! The Owner Consumers??
      And I have no doubts some consumers will most probably wonder in the years following the real likelihood of receiving no dividend payout!! Being put down to the damage sustained by Cyclone Gabriel! Bar of course?? for our supposed Trustees collecting their handsome remunerations. Money for jam.

    2. Terry his name is clearly above you in a letter: signed Mr Brian Anderson. he is Not hiding as you wrongfully claim. Kindly suggest you go to Spec Savers

  11. well i for one want to sell and i know a lot of others do too. we dont get any infomation from the trust board an they put the power up all the time. no discussion about that they are going to give us $240 this year same as last year. so i say sell

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