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Most of us take simple things,
like being able to flick on a light switch or boil a jug, for granted. But from
these small, every day things right through to making sure street lights come
on at night, 24/7 electricity is humming away behind the scenes, keeping our
district powered up and connected.
Did you know that the
electricity network in Ashburton district is 3074 kilometres long? In our
district, EA Networks looks after this network and its fibre optic
communications network. The company is a co-operatively owned business, where
residents that are connected to the local electricity distribution system, automatically
become shareholders in the company. Whenever a resident disconnects from the EA
Networks power network or moves away from the district, they can have their
Ashburton District Council
holds 28,750,000 of the 30,069,100 shares in EA Networks with the rest of the
shares belonging to residents. As part of being a shareholder in the company, you
receive a vote to elect a member to the EA Networks Shareholders Committee.
The duties of those on the Shareholders
Committee include appointing the Directors of Electricity Ashburton, reviewing
the performance of EA Networks in line with its annual Statement of Corporate
Intent, and reporting the company’s performance to shareholders.
Council directly appoints
three out of the seven members on the Shareholders Committee. I would like to
congratulate David Ward on his recent reappointment for another three-year term
as one of the Council appointees. David has been a member of the Shareholders
Committee since 2006 and offers a vast amount of knowledge and experience. He
runs a farm near Fairton with his wife Hilary and together they won the
Gallagher Technology and Innovation Award at the 2017 Deer Industry
The other two Council
appointees on the committee are well-known local businesspeople Anne Marett and
Chris Robertson. Anne was appointed in 2013 and is the director of Croys
Chartered Accountants. She is also the chair of the Netball Mainland board and
previously worked as a registered nurse. Chris was appointed in 2004 and is a
partner at law firm Russell Moon & Fail. He is also involved with several other
community organisations in the district.
Council’s involvement in
appointing three of the members to the Shareholders Committee contributes to our
community outcomes of a thriving and diverse local economy, where the
infrastructure and services meet current and foreseeable future needs; and an
involved community with quality leadership, where we work together with
government, community organisations and the private sector to promote our
The four other members are
elected by the shareholders and are currently Ian Cullimore (Chairman),
Jeanette Maxwell, Alister Lilley and Robert Newlands. The Council appointments
are staggered throughout each three-year term to ensure there is continuity on
The relationship between
Council and EA Networks extends much further into the community. As many of you
will know, EA Networks are the naming sponsor of the EA Networks Centre, after
contributing $1 million to the cost of the facility. The contribution from them
was important in helping meet the community target of raising $5 million to go
towards the overall cost.
The company also provides schools
in the district with fibre optic, ultra-fast broadband internet to ensure all
our tamariki have access to online education tools.
The EA Networks AGM for
shareholders is being held next Wednesday 29 August at the Hotel Ashburton on Racecourse Road from 5.30pm.
I encourage everyone that is interested to head along to the meeting to hear
about the past year in business, what has been achieved, and what will be
happening in our district over the next year. If you are unable to go, but
still want to vote at the AGM, you can download a proxy voting form from the EA
Networks website to ensure your vote is counted.
I would like to thank EA
Networks for its ongoing support and valuable contributions to our community,
and offer my congratulations for another successful year in business.