News release from Your Power Team
The five candidates on the Your Power Team ticket have lodged a complaint against the incumbent C&R candidates with the Returning Officer for the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust (AECT) election, which is currently being conducted by postal ballot.
The ticket of Green, Labour and community independent candidates claims that a brochure distributed with the dividend payment just two weeks before the election carried no authorisation statement and may be an illegal advertisement.
Your Power Team spokesperson, David Shand, stated that the brochure featured the names and a group photo of the five current C&R trustees, all of whom are standing for re-election together. The photo was immediately above a heading ‘Here are a few reasons to love AECT’. This brochure was paid for by the AECT and so the C&R trustees have thus promoted themselves at public expense. “This is a totally inappropriate use of public money and C&R should reimburse the AECT for this electioneering expenditure” he said.
Mr Shand commented that the cost of the brochure was only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ as AECT had also paid for an extensive media and bus advertising campaign promoting the AECT and by extension the current trustees.
“The payment of the dividend immediately before the election was a cynical misuse of the flexible powers the trustees now have to set the timing of the dividend payment. They can do this because they spent public money to have this discretion granted in the High Court in 2010.
“C & R have also made statements on their billboards that actively mislead the public to believe that they are responsible for the $320 dividend” he said. In reality, the amount of the dividend depends on a formula negotiated with Vector and reflects the profitable performance of Vector, not the work of the trustees of AECT.”
The Auckland Energy Consumer Trust (AECT) owns 75.4% of shares and voting rights in the lines company Vector Ltd. The Trust holds elections every three years for 5 trustees to be responsible for the management of the AECT on behalf of its beneficiaries, the electricity consumers of the AECT area in Auckland.
Those eligible to vote are the power bill holders in the old Auckland City and Manukau City areas and in parts of Papakura district. Voting documents were posted on 10 October 2012 and have to be returned by 5pm, Friday 26th October 2012.
‘YourPowerTeam’ is a 5-person community ticket supported by the Green and Labour parties and community organisations within the area. We are committed to:
- stopping the trust selling off any more of Vector
- continuing to pay the annual power dividend cheque
- slashing high trustee and consultant fees
- promoting power savings
All 5 current trustees of AECT are members of C&R, a National and Act party backed ticket. C&R has had effective control of AECT since 2003, helped by extremely low voter turnout – just over 16% at the last election in 2009. The C&R trustees oversaw the sell-off of 25% of Vector in 2005 despite an election promise to keep Vector in full public ownership. They have paid themselves over $1 million in trustee fees over the past three years.