Ri­vals vie for the pub­lic’s vote

Central Leader - - News -

The fight for power on the Auck­land En­ergy Con­sumer Trust will be­gin again later this month.

Ri­val groups Cit­i­zens & Ratepay­ers and Pow­er­lynk are both promis­ing to keep the 75.1 per­cent of elec­tric­ity com­pany Vec­tor, owned by the trust, in pub­lic own­er­ship af­ter the Oc­to­ber elec­tion.

House­holds in Auck­land city, Manukau city and most of Pa­pakura get to vote, be­cause they live in the for­mer Auck­land Elec­tric Power Board area, which pre­ceded the trust be­fore gov­ern­ment re­forms in 1993.

Lone Pow­er­lynk trus­tee Shale Cham­bers says the trust shouldn’t have sold 24.9 per­cent of its shares in 2005.

Of the $592 mil­lion of shares is­sued, $380m was used to buy gas com­pany NGC.

But trust chair­man War­ren Kyd says the pur­chase of NGC has al­lowed the trust to in­crease the div­i­dend it pays out to house­holds.

“It got the com­pany on the growth path.

“Grow­ing the div­i­dend is prob­a­bly the thing the pub­lic is most in­ter­ested in.”

An­other im­por­tant elec­tion is- sue is Vec­tor’s de­vel­op­ment of its broad­band ca­bling net­work, which runs in un­der­ground power ducts and over power lines through­out the city.

Mr Kyd says Vec­tor has been in talks with the gov­ern­ment about ac­cess to a $1.5 bil­lion fund aimed at speed­ing up broad­band in­ter­net for some time.

Other candidates in the AECT elec­tion in­clude the Just Power – No Pol­i­tics group led by for­mer trus­tee John Collinge and sev­eral in­de­pen­dents.

For a full list of candidates visit www.aect.co.nz.

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