Meet Your Trustees

The Trust is made up of five elected Trustees, who hold the shares in Unison on behalf of consumers connected to Unison’s electricity network in Hawke’s Bay. The current Trustees are Diana Kirton (Chair), Barbara Arnott, Jeff Farnworth, David Pearson and Kirsten Westwood. If you would like to contact the Trust, please click here, or phone the secretary on 06 650 5600.

2024 Trust Elections
The next elections for Trustees will take place on Tuesday 1 October 2024. Detailed information about the Trust election process can be found in Schedule 1 of the Trust Deed. The Trust will release further details on the election process, including key dates in 2024.


Diana Kirton

Diana Kirton, Chair (Trustee 2014 – present, 2002-2011)

Diana has a real passion for service to the consumer. An experienced director, Diana served on the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board for 15 years, as well as on the Hawke’s Bay Law Society Standards Committee.

As a long serving 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 local power consumers and is committed to paying the annual cash dividend directly to householders.

Barbara Arnott

Barbara Arnott (Trustee since 2017)

Barbara has worked as an advocate for the Hawke’s Bay consumer for many years. Committed to governance and consumer service, Barbara served 12 years as Napier Mayor and currently volunteers for Pathways and the Historic Trust amongst other consumer organisations.

Her 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.

Jeff Farnworth

Jeff Farnworth (Trustee since 2020)

Jeff has spent more than 50 years in the energy sector working in roles spanning the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. He started as an apprentice electrician in 1964 and graduated with an honours degree in electrical engineering in 1970. Jeff was General Manager at Scanpower Dannevirke from 1990 to 2002 and General Manager at both Scanpower and Centralines Waipukurau from 2001 to 2004, from 2002 to 2004 as Regional Manager at Unison.

He then worked for grid operator Transpower for another nine years, retiring in 2013. Now seems an opportune time to pass on his experience gained in the industry to the HBPCT as a fellow Trustee.

David Pearson

David Pearson (Trustee since 2020)

David is a long-standing advocate and supporter of the Hawke’s Bay consumer. He is the Managing Partner of accounting and advisory firm, BDO Hawke’s Bay. He 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.

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

Kirsten Westwood

Kirsten Westwood (Trustee since 2020)

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

After completing her BCom/LLB Kirsten worked in a variety of legal/HR roles in London, UK. On her return to New Zealand, she worked primarily in education as the Head of School for Health and Sport Science at EIT. Kirsten is a currently a Barrister and Solicitor specialising in family law.