What is a Trust?
A Trust is a legally binding arrangement when the legal ownership of assets is transferred to certain persons (Trustees) to be held on trust for the benefit of persons (beneficial owners) named in the Trust Deed.
What is WESCT (Waitomo Energy Services Customer Trust)?
The ownership of The Lines Company shares has been transferred to Waitomo Energy Services Customer Trust (WESCT).
The six trustees hold the shares on behalf of the beneficial owners.
The beneficial owners are the account holders located in the old Waitomo Electric Power Board area.
What is WESCT’s Vision Statement?
“Growing and enhancing our community asset for the sustainable benefit of the Trust’s beneficiaries now and in the future”
What is WESCT’s Mission Statement?
- To responsibly and diligently manage the Waitomo Energy Services Customer Trust’s investment in and ownership of The Lines Company Ltd.
- To protect and enhance the value of the investment and to apply it for the benefit of Customers as described in the Trust deed.
- To help The Lines Company Limited in meeting its goal of being a successful promoter and provider of efficient and reliable electricity distribution service throughout the District.
- To meet any other purpose and object described in Clause 3 of the Trust Deed dated 25th March 1993 and any subsequent amendment.
What are WESCT’s Current Goals?
- To maximise shareholder and consumer value for the Trust beneficiaries through Trust ownership of The Lines Company Ltd.
- To be an efficient energy enabler.
- To optimise the value of the return on the Trust’s shareholding.
- To review the Trust Deed and seek advice and mandate for any amendment deemed to be appropriate.
- To implement effective succession planning for Trustees and Directors.
- To develop effective communications with our stakeholders.
How are WESCT Trustees Appointed?
Three Trustees (A Trustees) are elected by Customers
- Current A Trustees are Erin Gray, Nigel Chetty and William Oliver
- Elections are every three years
- Current Trustees may stand for re-election
- The current 2020 election is for these A Trustee positions
One Trustee Appointed by the A Trustees on the basis of his or her commercial expertise.
- Currently Janette Osborne
- The new A Trustees will appoint an Appointed Trustee after this election
Two Trustees (B Trustees) are elected by Major Customers
- Current B Trustees are Peter Keeling and Cathy Prendergast
- Elections are every three years. The next election is 2022.
How many candidates are standing for the 2020 A Trustee Elections?
There are five candidates standing in the WESCT 2020 A Trustee Elections:
- Mark Ammon
- Nigel Chetty
- Erin Gray
- William Oliver
- Janette Osborne
What are the duties of a WESCT Trustee?
Regardless of how a Trustee is appointed – eg A, B or Appointed – their duties as a Trustee are identical once appointed.
- Act as a diligent shareholder and in particular monitor the performance of the directors of the Company and exercise the rights of shareholders for the benefit of the Trust Fund or Customers.
- Duty to get to know thoroughly the terms of the trust deed and to obey these terms.
- Trustees Act 1956 now being replaced by the Trusts Act 2019 – so Trustees must understand this new Act.
- Trustees also need to comply with all policies, including the WESCT Code of Conduct and Confidentiality Agreement
What are the Trust’s Duties?
The Trust is a collective – once a decision has been reached by majority vote it becomes the decision of the Trust.
The Trust as a collective has a duty and a purpose to:
- Encourage and facilitate the Company in meeting its objective of being a successful business.
- Promote and encourage an efficient and reliable electricity distribution system available throughout the District.
What mahi do the trustees do?
There are both periodic and regular tasks.
One of the most important annual tasks for the Trust is liaising with, reviewing and commenting on the Company’s annual Statement of Corporate Intent (SCI).
This document is the roadmap or strategy for the business. It is required under the Energy Companies Act 1992 (s39) and amongst other things includes:
- The standard of service that the Company will strive to provide to its customers
- The rates of return on the assets of the Company
- The provision of rebates to customers in accordance with the wishes of the Shareholders in lieu of paying a dividend to the Shareholders
- The pricing policy to be adopted by the Company for providing services to its customers
- Any other matter that the Shareholders by resolution require the Board to include
Other (also important) annual tasks include:
- Reviewing the Company’s performance
- Reviewing the Directors performance
- Reviewing the Directors Fees
- Planning for succession of Directors and Trustees
- Holding an annual meeting of WESCT beneficiaries
Keeping up to date with electricity industry issues – which may include attending Energy Trust New Zealand and other conferences once or twice a year.
Trust meetings are generally held monthly and usually last between four and five hours. Meeting papers will be sent out a week before and may also take anywhere from four hours to a day to read.
The main periodic tasks for the Trust are:
- Appointing the Directors of The Lines Company
- Trustee elections – both A and B Trustee elections
- Ownership review (every six years)
- Undertaking polls of customers to vote on decisions if required by the Trust Deed
- Other periodic issues or opportunities that may arise – such as reviewing the Trust Deed
Please note Trustees don’t have to do the administration parts of these tasks. They are undertaken by a contract secretariat service provider.
What is the time commitment for Trustees?
The workload can be very variable – however on average Trustees can expect to spend the equivalent of 2 to 3 days per month on WESCT work.
The Chair will spend at least double this time and the Deputy Chair somewhere in the middle.
There will be months where this commitment will double – eg during director recruitment, conferences etc. Dividing the work out amongst the six trustees helps keep the workload manageable.