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Great that AECT $2b nest-egg is to also be investigated

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Great that AECT $2b nest-egg is to also be investigated

Auckland Councillor for Orakei Cameron Brewer says he is pleased today to have promoted the need for Auckland Council to fully assess the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust’s valuable shareholding and was delighted to have it confirmed that it will form part of Auckland Council’s review into Auckland’s assets, future funding sources and financing options.

“I appreciate that Auckland Council has no current legal right or entitlement to the assets the AECT holds. However the trust is a creature solely established by Parliament in 1993 which could always be re-examined, particularly when you consider that the trust’s 75.4% ownership of Vector is worth over $2.1 billion.

“While the AECT’s Vector shares are not an Auckland Council asset that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fully investigate their status and any possible opportunities and consequences of unlocking their potential quicker than 2073.

“The Mayor has been completely sitting on the fence on this one but I’m pleased it will now form part of the review.

“I don’t pretend to know a lot about the legal intricacies of the legislation, the trust, its 80-year deed, or the value or potential of its assets, but I do know its time Auckland explored all possibilities more fully and formally. We owe that to our suburban ratepayers who keep getting stung year in year out and see council debt continue to skyrocket.

“Let’s not forget also forget that these shares are effectively owned by the same Aucklanders and are remain the biggest and most glaring nest-egg in the region. The AECT needed to be part of any regional asset review and alternative funding and financing debate, and I’m pleased it will now be.

“Auckland faces massive growth and infrastructure demands. I’m sure many ratepayers would support surrendering their $300 annual AECT dividend if they were guaranteed a lesser call on their annual rates and a quicker delivery of regional infrastructure.

“As the youngest councillor, I’ll be 100 years old when the trust is set to wind up on 27 August 2073. It seems crazy to keep posting households a $300 cheque while at the same time those same people are having to endure 9.9% residential rates increases and the region faces a massive infrastructural deficit and a million dollar a day interest bill,” says Mr Brewer.


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