Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Hold Onto Transalta Shares Consumers Tell Trust

Most electricity consumers in the Hutt Mana area want their local energy trust to hold onto the shares they own in local power retailer TransAlta New Zealand Ltd.

Sixty two per cent of consumers questioned in a telephone survey over the past weekend want the Hutt Mana Energy Trust to continue to hold the shares in trust for the community while only 15 per cent of the consumers phoned want the shares sold.

Almost 23% of those questioned "did not know".

Key reasons for telling the Trust not to sell its shareholding were:

The loss of New Zealand ownership in TransAlta.

The price of electricity would probably rise.

* Consumers would not be able to play a direct role in decisions affecting the supply of electricity in the Hutt Mana region.

Only 10 per cent of those interviewed felt that the most important fact the Trust should take into account was the share price that TransAlta Canada was offering.

The telephone research, conducted by Wellington-based BRC Marketing and Social Research over the weekend, involved 500 people randomly selected for interview.

The margin of error is plus or minus 4.3%.

Trust chairman Chris Kirk-Burnnand said the research clearly supported the Trust's view that it was a long term shareholder in TransAlta.

The research was commissioned after TransAlta Canada had "sprung an offer" to buy the Trust's 12.5% shareholding in TransAlta New Zealand at $2.50 per share.

The company advised the Trust of its plans only hours before every consumer in the Hutt Mana region received a letter from TransAlta and the launching of an extensive regional newspaper advertising campaign - a move strongly criticised by the Trust as being "misleading and opportunist."

The Canadian company wants to buy out over 25,000 small shareholders in TransAlta NZ to achieve 100% control, but it can't compulsorily acquire these shares unless it can buy the Trust's shares.

Mr Kirk-Burnnand said that in spite of TransAlta's massive advertising campaign, the research showed only 20 per cent of consumers had bothered to respond to the company by mailing a coupon or calling a toll free line.

"TransAlta's glitzy campaign, orchestrated by a public relations firm associated at the highest level of Government, has obviously backfired," he said.

"Ordinary New Zealanders have seen through foreign-owned TransAlta Canada's blatant attempt to mislead consumers by suggesting a $1600 windfall would be available by Christmas if the Trust could be forced by public opinion to sell."

It was clear that consumers had concerns that the Trust would lose its public voice and any ability to influence decision-making should TransAlta NZ become a private unlisted company.

They were also concerned about the possibility of electricity price rises.

ENDS....

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media Mega Merger: StuffMe Hearing Argues Over Moveable Feast

New Zealand's two largest news publishers are appealing against the Commerce Commission's rejection of the proposal to merge their operations. More>>

Elsewhere:


Approval: Northern Corridor Decision Released

The approval gives the green light to construction of the last link of Auckland’s Western Ring Route, providing an alternative route from South Auckland to the North Shore. More>>

ALSO:


Crown Accounts: $4.1 Billion Surplus

The New Zealand Government has achieved its third fiscal surplus in a row with the Crown accounts for the year ended 30 June 2017 showing an OBEGAL surplus of $4.1 billion, $2.2 billion stronger than last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>

ALSO:

Mycoplasma Bovis: One New Property Tests Positive

The newly identified property... was already under a Restricted Place notice under the Biosecurity Act. More>>

Accounting Scandal: Suspension Of Fuji Xerox From All-Of-Government Contract

General Manager of New Zealand Government Procurement John Ivil says, “FXNZ has been formally suspended from the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS) contract and terminated from the Office Supplies contract.” More>>