Tauranga lawyer Bill Holland is looking forward to helping the Tauranga community as the newest trustee of the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust after winning the most votes in the 2012 election.
Bill, the only newcomer of the three elected, polled in the top spot with a total of 6562 votes, ousting previous trustee Mark Groos, who came in fourth with a total of 2965 votes.
The winners of the TECT election Bruce Cronin, Bill Holland and Ken Collings.
The other two re-elected incumbent trustees were Bruce Cronin with a total of 6110 votes and Ken Collings with a total of 4608 votes.
Three of TECT’s six trustees are required to stand for re-election every two years.
A previous trustee of the Acorn Foundation, Bill is looking forward to taking on the new role on the TECT board and sees a synergy between Tauranga trusts as the key to making the community better.
“I thought the result is a great reflection of what TECT is doing at the moment and where it is heading," says Bill.
“Apart from the gaming trusts, there are really about four significant funders in Tauranga and TECT is one of them. There is a lot of value in working with other funders to make sure what we achieve overall is for the best.”
The 60-year-old partner at Tauranga law firm Holland and Beckett says TECT is the biggest trust board in the Western Bay of Plenty, donating more than $5million a year to the community.
“Basically the money from TECT is supposed to go back to consumers. The cheque will keep going, but it is about trying to maximise the benefit of what is going back into the community.
He disputes any claim there is a conflict of interest in board members serving on more than one trust.
“I heard criticisms suggesting people involved in trusts having conflicts of interest and that is nonsense. It makes sense to be working together.”
A total of 15,750 people voted in the election - a voter turnout of 29.94 per cent. This was up one per cent on the previous election in 2010.
Independent returning officer Warwick Lampp says the voter turn-out, although low compared to local council elections, is in line with other electricity boards throughout New Zealand.
“It is about average, about what it normally is,” says Warwick.
“It is in-line with other energy trust elections around the country. But it is pretty low, we are looking for improvement.”
He was hoping for a higher voter turn-out due to publicity from the earlier botch-up, where 10,000 voting papers were sent to old or incorrect addresses of TrustPower customers.
Unfortunately he says this did not happen.
“I did think the error may have created more interest, and therefore higher return, but it didn’t.
“I thought we would have had a higher turn-out.”
Bill says the voter turn-out is a reflection of the satisfaction of TrustPower customers with what the TECT board is doing.
“It is partly that people are happy with how things are going.
“The three incumbents all scored very well. I was certainly very grateful for the support I was given.
“I think it is such a worthy cause. There were 23 people who stood – this shows there is a huge interest.
“I see a united board and working together to address any issues. I know I will work very well with the rest of the board.
Of the almost 30 per cent that voted 12 per cent cast their votes online, two per cent higher than the last TECT election.
“I think there is a continual increase in online voting. The first time was eight per cent, the second was 10 per cent and this time is 12 per cent.
“It is slowly increasing over time, which is good to see.”