Who We Are

Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers’ Trust (HBPCT) owns Unison Networks on behalf of the power consumers of Hawke’s Bay. Our role is to proudly protect your investment in Unison. You can read more about the history of HBPCT below.

The Trust is made up of five elected Trustees, who act on behalf of all electricity consumers connected to Unison’s electricity network in Napier and Hastings. Meet the Trustees here; learn about our coverage area here.

Key tasks of the Trust are to:

 

•     Act in the best interests of power consumers
•     Exercise its rights as shareholder of Unison on behalf of power consumers
•     Appoint Unison’s Board of Directors
•     Monitor the performance of Unison and its board
•     Approve Unison’s annual business and financial goals
•     Determine annually the amount of Trust funds to be paid to power consumers (as a dividend or in other ways.)
•     Manage the financial affairs of the Trust
•     Report to the public each year (via public meeting) on the operations and financial performance of the Trust.
•     Periodically review Unison’s ownership structure.

Our History

HBPCT was established following the passing of the Energy Companies Act in 1992, which deregulated New Zealand’s electricity industry, permitting the formation of energy retailers and requiring regional electric power boards, or municipal electricity departments, to become commercial entities.
The Hawke’s Bay Electric Power Board became a commercial entity – Hawke’s Bay Power Distribution Ltd – with a retail subsidiary, Hawke’s Bay Power. To ensure consumers retained ownership of the retail and distribution of electricity, HBPCT was established in 1993, and all shares in Hawke’s Bay Power Distribution vested in the Trust, on behalf of power consumers.
In 1998,  to comply with legislation, the retail business of the company was sold to Contact Energy. In 2003, Hawke’s Bay Network changed its name to Unison Networks.
Today, Unison Networks is responsible for the distribution of electricity in Napier and Hastings, as well as in Taupō and Rotorua. It is one of 27 distribution companies in New Zealand  and has more than 15 electricity retailers operating on its network. Over the years the Unison Group has grown to include other related businesses. You can learn more about Unison and its performance below.

About Unison

Unison is a well regarded and high performing company with a vision to lead a sustainable energy future that supports consumers’ changing energy needs, while enabling its communities to prosper for generations to come.
Established in June 1924 as Hawke’s Bay Electric Power Board, today Unison is an electricity network company serving customers in Hawke’s Bay, Taupō, and Rotorua. It also owns companies that provide electrical, civil, and vegetation services. In 2024 Unison is the fifth largest electricity distributor in New Zealand, supplying electricity to nearly 117,000 customers in Hawke’s Bay, Taupō and Rotorua.  It has around 10,000km of power lines, more than 500 employees, and more than $620m of electricity and assets. The wider group has more 1,000 employees across New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Indonesia. More than $250 million distributed to the beneficiaries of the Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers’ Trust.

Unison’s electricity network business is regulated by the Commerce Commission for the protection of consumers. As Hawke’s Bay has grown, so has Unison. A key focus of HBPCT and Unison is to diversify, creating or investing in complementary businesses to create additional revenue streams that are not subject to regulatory oversight. In F23 72% of Unison’s EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) came from regulated sources, and 28% from its other businesses. The growth in Unison’s complementary businesses has contributed to the growth in the HBPCT annual dividend paid to power consumers. You can learn more about Unison’s history click here.

Unison growth in revenue, net assets and dividends paid to HBPCT over time:

YearRevenueNet AssetsDividend to HBPCT
$m$m$m
202332051015.8
202226449915.8
202124346415.8
202025644615.8
201924943215.4
201824941512.7
20172243929.7
20162143599.6
20152103439.4
20141923279.2