Trust's 'bad boy' loses rights again

MATT RILKOFF
Last updated 05:00 18/07/2014

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The bad boy of the multimillion-dollar Taranaki Electricity Trust has lost his voting and decision-making rights just days after being elected.

Mike Davey has been suspended from the trust until November 1 by his fellow trustees for his election campaign that "distorted and exaggerated facts" about the funding allocations made by the trust, chairman Brian Jeffares said yesterday.

Davey was suspended at the trust's first meeting in June, just days after he was elected.

This is the second time that Davey, who is also a Taranaki Regional Councillor, has incurred the wrath of his fellow trustees and been suspended.

Jeffares would not go into specifics about what Davey said or did this time but, in his election statement, published on the TET website, Davey stated the TET had made $6 million in loans to Stratford and that the money had been taken out of invested capital. He said TET was set up to make grants, not loans, and he would work to recover the "loans".

The Taranaki Daily News could not contact Davey yesterday.

This is not the first time he has made such allegations and the loan versus grant debate has been a hot potato for six years, ever since the TET purchased the Maryann Rest Home and Retirement Village in Stratford.

Jeffares said Davey seemed surprised that his electioneering had upset his fellow trustees so much, "but he hasn't gone into tantrums. He just quietly got up and left the meeting when we finished . . .

"I think it's disappointing for everybody. We get democratically elected and the people who elect us expect us to get on and do our job. I guess those who voted for him will be disappointed that he is not there now representing them."

In the 2011 election campaign for Ward A of the trust, Davey caused a furore when he alleged that Ward A, which is made up of Waitara, Inglewood and Urenui, received less money than Ward B, of Stratford and Eltham.

One year later Davey was suspended from the trust for four months for making "derogatory remarks" about his fellow trustees.

Since it was established in 1993 with the $12m proceeds from the merger of New Plymouth Energy with the Taranaki Electricity Power Board, the TET has handed out $75m in grants.

Elections are held every three years for six positions.

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