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As a diligent Trust, we have been considering the recent demerger of Trustpower, and the technological changes that are still to come in the electricity industry.  In particular, we have considered the uncertainty of inevitable change and how this could affect the future of TECT and our current and future beneficiaries.  

In response, Trustees have developed a proposal for change designed to provide certainty for the community.  While developing this proposal, we have sought to balance both the interests of eligible TECT Consumers today with the needs of generations to come. It is important to note that consumers will be consulted for their views on the changes in a five-week consultation process.

The following is a summary of the main aspects of the proposal:

  • The assets of the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust would be distributed to the TECT Charitable Trust, after a one-off $2,500 payment to Consumers as outlined below.
  • TECT Charitable Trust’s focus would be solely a provider of funds to community and charitable groups and over time Trustees would aim to triple the amount available for community projects and groups (in 2017 it was $7.7m).

TECT cheques would change:

  • Eligible Consumers would receive a one-off lump sum TECT cheque payment of $2,500, representing about five years’ payments based on the current average annual TECT cheque (in 2017 it was $497).
  • Five more years of TECT cheques. $20M will be distributed annually to consumers from 2018 through to 2022 (based on the number of 2017 eligible Consumers this equates to approximately $360 per Consumer account).
  • After 2022, there would be no further Consumer cheques, and the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust would be wound up.
  • From 2023, income would be distributed exclusively into Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty community and charitable organisations.

Eligible consumers will be those who had a Trustpower power account within the TECT District on 1 January 2018 and continuously through to 30 June 2018.

Yes, a payment is made for each separate eligible ICP number (for each power connection)

Yes, you’re right. That’s why the Trustees are seeking feedback on the proposal, and will only implement a change after taking a vote through a consumers referendum.

This is also not something under consideration as part of the draft proposal as Trustees unanimously agree that distributing all the funds to current consumers does not provide a balance between the interests of current and future beneficiaries. Winding up TECT would deliver a short-term benefit to today’s beneficiaries but future generations of beneficiaries would be disadvantaged.

The Trustees have a unanimous view on the best way forward which is the proposal that they have put forward. However, these conclusions are preliminary until such time as the Trustees have had a chance to take account of the views expressed by consumers through the consultation process.

Throughout TECT’s history the Trustees have always been guided by a granting policy which is developed in consultation with the community. There is no intention to change this. Three of the six trustees are voted in every two years which gives the community the opportunity to have a say on the governance of the Trust.

Trustees have committed to the same information flow that exists now. Their annual distribution plan would be published for community feedback, and there is also a commitment to consult on major decisions – in the same way TECT consulted over the grant to the Tertiary Campus project.

We acknowledge that the proposal represents change, but it also represents an important opportunity to contribute to more people, not just for the wider community today, but for the benefit of generations to come. The Trustees wish to hear from consumers to understand their thoughts.

There is no current plan to sell any Trustpower shares. TECT has a variety of other options to fund the proposal. The Trustees will decide on the most appropriate mix if the proposal is accepted. Consumers are welcome to submit your views on this matter.

To be considered for funding from TECT an organisation must be a Public Benefit Entity (PBE). PBEs are entities whose primary objective is to provide goods or services for community or social benefit and where any equity has been provided with a view to supporting that primary objective rather than for a financial return to equity holders.

This will depend on future income. Initial estimates are that we will be able to distribute up to triple the value of that in the past. Last year the distribution to community and charitable organisations was $7.7m.

Under the current draft proposal, if a majority of voting consumers support the proposal, it is envisaged a pay-out would be made when the High Court has approved the process. This is expected to be in late 2018.

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