Top Energy Consumer Trust Chair, Yvonne Sharp today announced the appointment of Murray Bain to shortly fill the role of Chairman of the Top Energy Board.

Ms Sharp warmly welcomed the appointment and congratulated Mr Bain who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from the public and private sectors in governance and senior management positions.

“I believe Mr Bain is an excellent choice to lead Top Energy and, as a Far North resident, he has a local perspective on the environment in which the company operates, and an appreciation of the exciting challenges and opportunities facing the electricity network.”

“Mr Bain offers strong leadership as an experienced company director with expertise in banking and finance, risk management, new technologies, strategic planning, and an understanding of the special requirements of a Trust as a single shareholder,” she says.

“He holds a broad portfolio of governance roles as Chair of the Open Polytechnic of NZ, Deputy Chair of TSB Bank and as a Director of TSB Capital and CTAS (Central Region DHB’s shared services company). He is in the process of standing down as a Director of Powerco – NZ’s second largest electricity lines company.

Previously, he was an Assistant Governor of the New Zealand Reserve Bank, Director of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency and ESR (Crown Research Institute) and CEO of the Foundation for Research Science and Technology and the Ministry of Science and Innovation.”

Ms Sharp says this is an interesting time for a change in leadership as the company focuses on growth of its core asset businesses with advance of the Ngawha geothermal generation development, the distribution and transmission lines and the core contracting services that support them
“I would like to personally thank retiring Chairman Paul Byrnes for his outstanding contribution in supporting and leading Top Energy for nearly 20 years. He will remain as chair until the AGM in June.”

Mr Byrnes was a director from 1997 to 2006 and Chair from July 2006. He witnessed the major electricity reforms in the 1990s which separated the industry into transmission, distribution, generation and retailing, and the implications of the new regulatory environment for the company.

Ms Sharp says that Mr Byrnes has directed Top Energy in new ventures focused on creating opportunities for people of the Far North.

This has included, amongst other initiatives, the creation of a call centre business in Kaikohe and Albany, investment in Fiji operations in 2006 and its profitable sale in 2010, an extensive and radical rebuild of the network including purchase of Transpower’s grid assets – a first for a NZ lines company.

During Mr Byrnes’ time on the Board, Top Energy saw the potential in retaining the generation part of its business and fought to obtain exemptions through legislative changes to allow this to occur. A move which has formed the basis for very significant expansion plans for Top Energy’s geothermal power generation at Ngawha, the expansion of which was recently granted new resource consents.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Mr Byrnes and wish him all the best for the next set of challenges that he is embarking on.

Top Energy is fully owned by the Top Energy Consumer Trust which holds the shares on behalf of all Far North power consumers connected to Top Energy’s lines network.

Murray Bain

For more information please contact:
Philippa White / 021-2418740