The last year as a new TECT Trustee has flown by and I am very grateful to have the opportunity as one of six trustees overseeing the operation of this very significant and successful trust. The $8M provided in grants last year by TECT in our region to over 200 organisations involved in Sport, Arts, Recreation, Health, Education and Welfare is multiplied by the participation of so many volunteers to the tune of tens of millions of dollars of value added to our communities. What becomes absolutely clear is the vital role and responsibility TECT has as one of the larger community funders to continue to protect and grow this ability to support and enhance the quality of everyone's lives, alongside the six-monthly rebate distributions.
I have awaited the report of the NZ Electricity Price Review before commenting on local electricity pricing and my concern last year that the rebate may have become a 'Christmas Club' funded by accepting higher prices locally. That would mean that you and the local economy are deprived of the consumer dollars which could otherwise be in 'our pockets'. The initial options paper identified Tauranga as having the least competitive market (the highest concentration ratio on the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI)) which is a measure used to assess market competitiveness. There is much complexity around pricing, deals, and which level of consumption may be most affected along with changes since the review.
Approximately 40% of our assets are held in a diversified portfolio including a range of national and international investments. The remainder is made up of a shareholding in Trustpower, of which Infratil own 51% and TECT own 26%. Given that TECT owns about a quarter of the Trustpower shares, then you as the trust beneficiaries at least benefit to the tune of a 26% share of any extra profit generated by local pricing variation. As a major shareholder we would be unwise to 'bite the hand that feeds us', and recognise that Trustpower's growth nationally and across the Tasman has been the major factor in the growth of the TECT trust to $1.1 billion today. But we are different organisations and although TECT has no control or influence on your electricity pricing, we as trustees do have a responsibility to ensure that the trust beneficiaries (current and future) are receiving the maximum benefit possible from the trust. The trust was set up in 1993 to provide a range of ways to deliver this benefit and we will need to continue to assess where the greatest impact can be made, particularly as the region's growing needs in terms of infrastructure, both physical and social, are only going to increase, which is where TECT plays an increasingly critical role.
Finally I urge you to have a look through the newsletter and consider how the organisations who have received grants this time contribute in some way to the well being and quality of life for you, or those dear to you.