Power users silent on review

Silence gives assent, or so the Marlborough Electric Power Trust is led to believe.

The trust has asked its beneficiaries, the power users of Marlborough, to approve changes to its 21-year-old trust deed, mainly to get rid of the requirement to do an ownership review of Marlborough Lines every five years.

Trust chairman Tim Smit said yesterday the review cost about $50,000, and the results were overwhelmingly that ownership of the lines company should remain in community hands, with the company's shares being 100 per cent owned by the trust.

Because the review process to change the deed was onerous, trustees had used the opportunity to go through the entire deed to make other changes, but the ownership review change was the important one, Mr Smit said.

No submissions had been received on the trust's proposed changes to its deed yesterday, and submissions close on Friday.

Some people had collected the document listing changes, and there was still the possibility submissions would come in before the closing date.

Changes the trust is proposing:

Remove the compulsory review of Marlborough Lines ownership every five years, instead enabling a review when called for by 10 per cent of Marlborough power users;

Enable the trust to loan money to the company, rather than the trust hold the dividends itself until distribution to consumers;

Spell out that trustees have indemnity insurance;

Re-order trust deed clauses.

Spell out that trustees do not have to follow any recommendation made by Marlborough Lines directors.

Meanwhile, enough nominations have been received to hold an election for trustees. Under the trust's deed, the three longest-serving of the six trustees have to step down every two years.

Trust administrator Brenda Munro said four nominations had been received so there would be an election next month. The election is held by postal vote.

The Marlborough Express