A Brief History
The Powerco Wanganui Trust was established on 5 April 1993 as an incorporated Charitable Trust.
This was at the time when by virtue of the Energy Companies Act 1992 the whole of the undertaking of the Wanganui Rangitikei Electric Power Board was vested in Powerco Limited.
Two million preference shares in Powerco Limited of $1 each were in turn vested in the Powerco Wanganui Trust as fully paid shares primarily for the benefit of the community in the region served by the Power Board for energy related charitable purposes and for general charitable purposes.
The income from these shares was set at 5%, being $100,000 per annum, and the Trustees commenced the process of charitable distributions.
During the next ten years the value of the shareholding in Powerco Limited increased to $25,000,000 and the annual dividend income reached $1.8 million. This enabled the Trustees to progressively increase distributions to the community of up to $1.6 million per annum.
With such expansion by Powerco Limited as a nationwide company the Trustees in May 2004 maintained our regional identity by changing the name of the Trust to the "Powerco Wanganui Trust".
In October 2004, the Trust in conjunction with the two largest shareholders sold their shares in Powerco Limited, and has since established a diversified portfolio of investments. In 2011 The Trust was paid out of its SPARCS bonds, thus effectively ending the original investments linked to Powerco Limited.
The seven Trustees of the Trust are appointed on a rotational basis by the Mayor and Councillors of the District Councils of the region, which are Wanganui, Rangitikei, Ruapehu and South Taranaki. There is a maximum term of nine years.
The founding Trustees were Gerald McDouall of Wanganui (Chairman), Noel Byford of Taihape, Peter Polson of Mangamahu, Ken Smith of Mangaweka, Bruce Lourie of Hunterville, Denis Harris of Bulls and Earl Stewart of Wanganui.