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Consult Consumers On Infrastructure Planning

AECT Urges Government To Consult Consumers On Infrastructure Planning

Auckland (July 14) - New Zealand’s largest elected consumer trust says existing infrastructure investors need to play a key role in solving the country’s ever-increasing infrastructure woes.

Community-owned trusts like the AECT are willing to assist industry by investing in infrastructure, but there needs to be a clear and cohesive approach to regulation for this to happen, said Karen Sherry, chair of the Auckland Energy Consumers Trust.

“Existing infrastructure investors should be invited to play an active and ongoing role in the formulation of this policy,” Ms Sherry said.

She was commenting on the results of a BusinessHerald business leaders survey, whereby New Zealand’s top business leaders identified the state of the country’s infrastructure as a huge impediment to economic growth.

As one of the largest investors in New Zealand’s infrastructure, the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust (AECT) agrees with the views of the survey respondents. In particular, the AECT agrees that there needs to be commitment by the government in terms of policies and resources to tackle the country’s future infrastructure needs.

The AECT has over recent years shown its commitment to infrastructure investment. The Trust owns 100% of VECTOR, which following its acquisition of UnitedNetworks last year is now one of the largest network infrastructure companies in New Zealand, with assets of around $2.8 billion. VECTOR distributes both electricity and gas in the greater Auckland region and electricity in the Wellington region. It means VECTOR is the largest electricity network company in the country.

Transactions like the UnitedNetworks takeover have seen a sizeable and strategic asset come back into the hands of New Zealanders, and the benefits of that will flow through to them for many years to come.

The AECT would welcome sensible policies to enable continued investment in electricity transmission, and to guarantee much-needed generation facilities are built. As it stands, the AECT believes the energy industry framework does not encourage new capital investment for both generation and transmission

“We would hope that officials will take heed of survey’s like the BusinessHerald leaders poll – and ensure infrastructure investors like community-owned trusts are invited to be around the table when discussions take place,” Ms Sherry said.

About the AECT – www.aect.co.nz

The Trust was created in 1993 and effectively controls and owns the share capital of VECTOR Limited.

The new VECTOR is now one of the largest network infrastructure companies in New Zealand with assets of around $2.8 billion. The Company distributes electricity and gas in the Auckland region and electricity in the Wellington region. VECTOR also operates ultra high-speed fibre optic networks in the Auckland and Wellington central business districts.

Listed below are some facts about VECTOR you may find both interesting and useful: Total electricity consumers 618,565 Total gas consumers 65,743 Total Income Beneficiaries 281,223 Total Assets $2.8 billion Market share (consumers) – electricity 35% Market share (consumers) – gas 25% Electricity network 24, 638km Gas network 4,713km Telecommunications network 190km Annual revenue $0.5 billion

As the shareholder, the Trust receives the dividend from the Company’s profit and distributes to income beneficiaries, who are VECTOR’s customers residing in the former Auckland Electric Power Board area

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