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Entrust - The time to vote is now

City Vision Media Statement
Peter Neilson Team Leader
Vote today to ensure your Entrust election votes are counted, it’s time to open the envelope and have your say on the trustees, the privatisation of Vector and protecting your $350 annual payment

Entrust (The old Auckland Energy Consumer Trust) owns 75.1% of Vector, it is run by five trustees on behalf of power customers in the areas of the old Auckland City Council, Manukau City Council, and parts of Pakuranga, Takanini and Franklin.

If you recently received the $350 payment you are the one in your household eligible to vote. Your voting papers should have arrived in the mail by last weekend. If you want to have your vote count, it’s time to open the letter from Entrust and vote for the five Entrust trustees you want to protect this valuable payment says Peter Neilson, City Vision for Entrust Campaign Team Leader. Many people I asked recently days did not realise that the letter from Entrust contained their voting papers so have not opened the letter.

To have your vote counted it needs to be posted before Wednesday to arrive by 5pm on Friday 26 October. To have your vote count after Wednesday you need to hand deliver the vote to Independent Election Services Ltd, Level 2, 198 Federal Street, Auckland

There are 302,000 eligible voters this time in the Entrust election but last time fewer than 13% voted.

The voting figures available to date point to better turnout this time but the turnout in South Auckland currently lags behind the more prosperous parts of Auckland.

There are a number of very good reasons to vote for a change in this election.
C&R (National and ACT) trustees have held all five trustee positions for the last 9 years

Over the last 3 years while the current all C&R trustees have been in place;
• the $350 annual payment buys less falling behind prices,
• the trustees let Vector cut the budget for undergrounding, leaving the poles and wires that are an eyesore, and are vulnerable in storms, causing power cuts, and
• when the April storms occurred cutting power to 200,000 Aucklanders the current trustees took no action to see if Vector’s power supply could be made more reliable and future recoveries faster
There is also a current proposal confirmed by the Chair of Vector, the NBR, and The Australian that the UBS merchant bank wants to introduce a buyer to purchase the Vector’s Auckland electricity network. Privatisation would likely cut or eliminate the current $350 annual payment as under the Entrust trust deed it is the Auckland Council that has a claim on the proceeds from a sale of Vector not the recipients of the annual payment.

While this has all been occurring the trustees have been fighting amongst themselves. One even taking another trustee to court and another one, has accused their Chair of “bullying” and of acting in an “unprofessional” manner when the long-term Chair of Vector Mike Stiassny was fired.

Unsurprisingly the existing trustees seeking re-election have recently declined media interviews.

The City Vision (Labour and Green) Entrust trustee candidates including Glenda Fryer, Richard Leckinger, Simon Mitchell, Peter Neilson and Robert Reid are pledged to;
• Protect and enhance the annual $350 payment by, opposing any form of Vector privatisation and by reviewing the operations of both Vector and Entrust.
• Accelerate the undergrounding programme and investigating new ways to fund that work to improve the urban environment, enhance safety and prevent power cuts.
• Address energy poverty including looking to see if the annual $350 payment can be paid earlier, closer to the time the big winter power bill arrives, to help the most vulnerable.
• Work to ensure people who understand Auckland are appointed to the Vector board and Entrust who also better reflect the diversity of Auckland.
The City Vision Team will stand up for consumers across Auckland. We want to put the consumer and trust back into Entrust. It’s time for a change of trustees at the trust. If you want to stop the further privatisation of Vector and protect your annual $350 payment you need to vote, concluded international electricity consultant and City Vision for Entrust Team Leader Peter Neilson
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