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Contact Announces New Chief Executive

31st March 2006

Contact Announces New Chief Executive

Contact’s Chairman, Mr Grant King, today announced that the Board will appoint Mr David Baldwin as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Mr Baldwin is a New Zealander who grew up in the South Island, graduated from Canterbury University with an engineering degree and from Victoria University with an MBA and has since had a highly successful international career in the energy industry.

“We are delighted to be able to fill this important role with someone of Mr Baldwin’s international experience and calibre” said Grant King.

Mr Baldwin is currently based in Hong Kong where he oversees the energy asset interests of Ritchie Capital, a US investment fund with approximately $5 billion of assets under management.

Prior to his current role, Mr Baldwin spent eight years with MidAmerican Energy Holdings, an international energy company with around 17,000 MW of generation capacity, and serving over 6 million gas and electricity customers.

Between 1998 and 2004 Mr Baldwin was responsible for MidAmerican’s operations in the Philippines, which included three geothermal plants and a combined hydro-electric and irrigation development. In 2004 he transferred to MidAmerican’s US headquarters, where he assumed responsibility for the firm’s global development and acquisition initiatives, which included public and private utilities, LNG projects, gas storage and transmission assets.

Mr Baldwin began his career as a project engineer in New Zealand with Shell, which he joined in 1986. He also spent a period with SouthPac Corporation, the merchant banking arm of National Bank of New Zealand.

Mr Baldwin will assume the role of Chief Executive on a secondment basis from Origin Energy, Contact’s majority shareholder. During the term of the secondment, Contact will reimburse Origin for the cost of Mr Baldwin’s salary and other employment benefits. These comprise fixed compensation of $650,000 pa and variable compensation up to a maximum of 110% of fixed pay in a mix of short and long term incentives.

Mr Baldwin will take up the position from 1st May 2006.

“Mr Baldwin’s qualifications and experience make him ideally suited to the challenges that Contact face in the years ahead” said Grant King.

ENDS

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