Fewer reviews for trust

Last updated 11:30 04/03/2014

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The Marlborough Electric Power Trust has dropped compulsory ownership reviews, instead opting for reviews only when 10 per cent of power users request one.

The new 2500-people threshold would stop any particular interest group forcing a review for its own purposes, the trust said. Ownership reviews cost the trust about $50,000.

Changes to the trust's deed were approved unanimously at a meeting in Blenheim yesterday.

Only one member of the public attended the trust's meeting, and only three people made submissions and attended the trust's public meeting last month that discussed the possible changes.

Trust chairman Tim Smit said one of the submissions highlighted a typing error in the deed, and the trust was grateful for Sister Elizabeth Fulton for pointing it out.

The trust members decided to go ahead with the proposal to drop compulsory ownership reviews every five years, instead opting for reviews when 10 per cent of Marlborough power users (2500 people) or the trustees felt one was needed.

The trust owns 100 per cent of electricity lines company Marlborough Lines, on behalf of the power users of Marlborough. Previously, it had to carry out a survey of beneficiaries to see if they wanted the trust to sell shares or keep Marlborough Lines' ownership as it was.

Mr Smit said the trustees had debated what the threshold should be.

Trustee Ross Inder said his initial view was that it should have been 25 per cent of trust beneficiaries, but that was unrealistic.

Trustee John Cuddon said it had started at 20 per cent, but 10 per cent - 2500 people - was a level that showed there was serious consideration by beneficiaries of the need for a review.

Mr Smit said the trustees had the discretion to call a review at any time, in addition to 10 per cent of beneficiaries. Even if a review was held, the trustees were not bound by its findings.


Voting papers for the Marlborough Electric Power Trust have been sent out, with four people standing for three positions.

Sitting trustees Tim Smit and Clive Ballett are standing for re-election, and trustee Leo McKendry is standing down.

Malcolm Aitken and Ian Martella are also standing. Under the trust's deed, the three longest-serving of the six trustees have to step down every two years. 

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- The Marlborough Express


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