Voters will be lacking important information as a result of the current Entrust trustees failure to respond to crucial questions ahead of the Entrust election starting on 11 October. City Vision for Entrust Team Leader Peter Neilson has labelled the Entrust Chair William Cairn’s replies to questions submitted about a month ago as evasive and misleading. “The Entrust Chair’s responses to our polite information requests reveals that Entrust, which owns 75.1% of the shares in the Auckland energy and lines company Vector, has allowed itself to become a silent subsidiary of Vector rather than a strong advocate for consumers, the current dividend recipients and for improving the reliability of our electricity supply in Auckland” say Peter Neilson
On a direct question about the privatisation of the Entrust share in Vector the Chair William Cairns is both evasive and misleading. He says Entrust has commissioned no advice on a share sell down but does not say what advice has been received from Vector. Vector has already acknowledged that the merchant bank UBS has been in contact regarding an asset sell down. If the Entrust trustees are being willfully ignorant of what is happening at Vector they are failing in their duties as trustees. The alternative explanation is that are just being evasive or misleading which again should disqualify them for re-election.
In response to many questions the Chair says the information will be available in the annual report or will be discussed at the the Entrust AGM which will be well after most votes in the election have been posted.
The City Vision for Entrust information requests were seeking to have Entrust voters fully and fairly informed to judge the performance of the current 5 C&R trustees prior to the election for which voting papers will arrive in the letter box from October 11.
City Vision welcomes the Entrust decision to restore the full $10.5m annual budget for undergrounding power lines. This explicitly acknowledges that the current trustees dropped the ball when they agreed to move the undergrounding budget to pay for the pretty lights on the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Entrust trustees are hiding behind its claims of complying with the very restrictive ETNZ information disclosure guidelines. A majority City Vision Entrust would adopt the more public friendly disclosure rules used by publicly elected organisations in New Zealand. We would also release our meeting minutes after approval and post them on the Entrust website. We are frankly appalled that Entrust does not maintain a register of potential conflicts for its trustees. We would introduce that safeguard at Entrust, a standard practice for public boards and listed companies in New Zealand concluded Peter Neilson, City Vision Team Leader, economist and former cabinet minister.