Q & A


1. Who are the REAL Beneficiaries?

An author of the original Trust Deed, a prominent lawyer in Hawkes Bay, made a very interesting submission to the 2018 "Ownership Review". He stated . . .

"There is a lamentable lack of understanding of the distinction between consumers and community. It is important that the Trustees emphasise and clarify that the sole beneficiaries of the Trust are consumers connected to the HB network of UNL, and that the terms of the Trust Deed clearly require the distribution of shares directly to the "consumers of the day" and for no other purpose. The Trustees of HBPCT have a fiduciary duty to uphold and comply with the specific provisions of the Trust Deed”.

Surely the current Trustees ought to understand this.

2. Will my power charges increase if Unison shares are distributed to the Beneficiaries?

Your power charges are determined by your retail electricity supplier. Unison's charge is a proportion of your Daily Charge and is fixed by regulation by the Commerce Commission. It should not change.

3. What is the value of Unison shares?

The book value of Unison Networks Limited at 31 March 2023 was just over $509M which equates to around $8,300 per consumer/beneficiary. Book value doesn't reflect market value and it is expected that the market value would be considerably more, with the financial benefit to consumers about $12,000 or more. The Trust secretary has confirmed that figures in this range are realistic.

4. What if I own multiple ICPs?

The current arbitrary restriction applied by the Trust of allocating dividends to a maximum of 3 ICPs per owner is unfair. Many businesses have multiple power connections, and the horticultural industry is a particular example. Every ICP connection contributes to Unison's revenue. Every ICP owner should benefit from the share distribution equally.

5. What happens to my dividend if I opt in?

If you retain the shares you can expect your dividend to be paid directly by Unison. In fact the amount you receive should be greater because the cost of running the Trust [$750,000 in 2023] will not exist, and this should also be returned to shareholders.

6. How can I get the cash settlement?

The answer depends on whether the Directors of Unison decide to list the Company on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, or alternatively, accept the possibility that the shares would be sought by some other company, whether presently involved in the electricity industry, or perhaps in other infrastructure businesses. The Directors of Unison would be tasked to provide a facility, for a reasonable time, whereby the new beneficiary owners of the shares could sell their shares, at no cost. Following that initial period we would expect the shares would be able to be traded in the normal manner on the NZ Stock Exchange. The cost of listing on the NZX is quite modest. The initial listing fee quoted by the NZX for a company of this size would be about $350,000. There would be some additional costs preparing for the listing, but not "millions". The Trust could easily contribute to the cost by using a portion of the $3.3M that is presently held in reserve accounts.

7. Do I need to do anything now?

We need your support. Just fill in a few details, your name and e-mail address [and your ICP number if you can], on the pop-up form and click the red SUBMIT button. With sufficient numbers we will have a very compelling case for Unison to recommend to the Trustees to distribute the shares to all beneficiaries.

8. How can I help?

The "Ownership Review" reports fail to address the fundamental issues that the Trustees MUST consider. The Trustees are bound by the Trust Deed and by law to act for the benefit of the Beneficiaries. Recent legal opinions outline these responsibilities in detail. We have added a section [Ownership Review - - see menu heading above] commenting on the ownership review reports, and provided sample responses to the review which emphasise these points. Just by clicking on a button you have the ability to copy a sample letter [which you can then edit if you wish], and email it to the Trust, in response to their invitation. PLEASE DO SO. Your support and your opinion is important.

We welcome support from everyone in Hawkes Bay. However, please understand that we can only count one vote per ICP, but we will count ALL ICPs.