Meet the Trustees

The Trust is made up of five elected Trustees, who hold all the shares in Unison on behalf of consumers connected to Unison’s electricity network in Hawke’s Bay. The Trustees are Diana Kirton (Chair), Barbara Arnott, David Pearson, Kirsten Westwood and Jeff Farnworth, following an election which concluded at 5pm on Thursday 1 October 2020.  The HBPCT operates under a Trust Deed which sets out, in detail, the responsibilities and duties of the Trust and the Trustees.

If you would like to contact the Trust, please use the online form click here, or phone the secretary on phone: 06 873 8037

Diana Kirton, Chair


Diana Kirton has a real passion for service in the community. She is the current chairperson of the Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers’ Trust. As an experienced director, Diana has served on the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board for 15 years. She has also served on the Hawke’s Bay Law Society Standards Committee.

As a trustee Diana has ensured the interests of power consumers remains the trust’s highest priority. She strongly believes that Unison must remain in public ownership for the benefit of the local power consumers and is committed to paying the annual cash dividend directly to householders.

Barbara Arnott


Barbara has worked as an advocate for the Hawke’s Bay community for many years.

Committed to governance and community service, Barbara served 12 years as Napier Mayor and currently volunteers for Pathways and the Historic Trust amongst other community organisations.

Barbara’s work with people in diverse roles has shown clearly how distributing good information leads to good decision making. She makes it a priority to involve consumers in decisions that affect them.

Barbara considers it a privilege to be working with consumers and the Trust.

David Pearson


David is a long-standing advocate and supporter of the Hawke’s Bay community. He is the Managing Partner of the accounting and advisory firm, BDO Hawke’s Bay, and was awarded a Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand Fellowship in 2013. His relationship with the local SME market is proven and through his knowledge and connections, he provides advice and guidance to local businesses as well as not-for-profit organisations.

David was on the Eastern Institute of Technology Council for 15 years, serving as Chair of Council for 13 of these. Previously, he was a Trustee for Sport Hawke’s Bay for 9 years and is currently a member of the Institute of Directors. These experiences teamed with his involvement with the governance of the national accounting firms he has been aligned with over the years has provided him with significant governance skills and insight into the diverse aspects and factions that make up the Hawke’s Bay Region.

David strongly believes in the Trust’s role in ensuring the community continues to benefit from the ownership of Unison Networks through the continuation of a high quality, reliable service. He would like to see an increase in community understanding of what the trust does and exactly how it works to benefit the community it serves. David fully supports paying the annual dividend to householders.

Kirsten Westwood


Kirsten has supported the Hawke’s Bay community for many years; holding roles on the Board of Sport Hawke’s Bay, Woodford Board of Proprietors and currently as the President of the Hawke’s Bay Medical Research Foundation. She is newly appointed to the Hawke’s Bay Power Consumer’s Trust and is privileged to be able to support Hawke’s Bay consumers keep their interests in the Trust and dividend payment a priority.

After completing her commerce and law degrees at Otago University, Kirsten worked in a variety of legal/HR roles in London, UK. On return to NZ; she held roles in Health Promotion, including teaching on the Diploma of Health Promotion at EIT where a Masters in Health Science followed. Kirsten has a passion for health and looks for ways to support the community.

Kirsten is the Assistant Head of School for Health and Sport Science at EIT, and has been at EIT since 2013.  In this role she works with organisations throughout Hawke’s Bay to establish connections with staff, students and programmes of study in ways that support positive outcomes for our region.

Jeff Farnworth


I’ve spent 49 years in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity starting as an apprentice electrician in 1964 and graduating with an hons degree in elect eng in 1970. GM at Scanpower Dannevirke from 1990 to 2002 and GM at both Scanpower and Centralines Waipukurau from 2001 to 2004, from 2002 to 2004 as Regional Manager at Unison.

I then worked for Transpower the Grid Operator for another 9 yrs and retired in 2013. Now seems an opportune time to pass on my experience gained in the industry to the HBCT as a fellow Trustee.