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, Ken Gilligan, Helen Francis and Kevin Atkinson, following an election which concluded at 5pm on Monday 2 October 2017.  The HBPCT operates under a Trust Deed which sets out, in detail, the responsibilities and duties of the Trust and the Trustees. 2016 HBPCT Deed

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 has a real passion for working in the community. She is the Chair of the Hawke’s Bay
Power Consumers’ Trust and served as a trustee for 12 years. She has also been an elected member of the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board since 2001.

Diana works at the Eastern Institute of Technology as practicum manager for the School of Health and Sport Science. In this role she works with numerous businesses throughout Hawke’s Bay to establish career opportunities for students.

As a trustee, Diana has always ensured the interests of power consumers is the highest priority, and that all Hawke’s Bay power consumers benefit from their power trust’s assets. She strongly supports paying the annual 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.

She is also an appointed member of the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board (HBDHB).

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.

Ken Gilligan


Ken was Chairman of the Trust from 1999 to 2008, and was re-elected to the Trust in October 2011. He was a director of Unison Networks Limited (2008-2009), and was formerly General Manager and Managing Director of the Port of Napier for over 16 years.

He was Chairman of the Energy Trusts of New Zealand Inc from 2003 to 2008, and a member of the Crown Entity, Maritime New Zealand for 10 years until 2013. Ken chaired the Cranford Hospice Board from 2010 to 2013. He is currently Chairman of City Medical Ltd and a trustee of the Napier Family Centre Financial Trust and the Old Customhouse Trust.

Ken was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours, for services to business.

Helen Francis


Helen is an experienced nurse, currently working at The Hastings Health Centre in the leadership team as Quality and Performance Manager. She has recently completed a PhD through Massey University exploring the needs of people with multiple long-term health conditions.

Her varied community governance experience includes being an elected District Health Board member since 2008 and formal governance qualifications.

A Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers’ Trustee since 2011, Helen is focused on helping to ensure the community continues to benefit from ownership of Unison both through the continuation of a high quality, reliable service, and through regular dividends.

Kevin Atkinson


Kevin has served as a director of Unison for 19 years, the last eight years as Chairman.

Kevin is passionate about Hawke’s Bay and offers the skills, experience and desire to see Unison perform well for the power consumers of Hawke’s Bay.

In 2010 Kevin was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and the community.

He has a wealth of commercial and governance experience through chairing the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, and past directorships of IMS, Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union and Unison Networks Ltd.

Kevin believes that consumers should have a greater opportunity to be involved and aware of what the Trust does on their behalf.

He sees opportunities to positively engage on consumer-oriented initiatives, while providing a solid level of dividend to consumers.