How long does the Trust last for and who are the beneficiaries?
The Trust was established for a period of 80 years. It will continue until 2073 unless it decides that the purpose the Trust was established for has been completed.
There are four categories of beneficiary:
Those electricity customers connected to the WEL Networks power lines network and located within the Trust's traditional area
The community located within the Trust's traditional area
The three councils (Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council & Waipa District Council)
The capital beneficiaries are Hamilton City Council (63%), Waikato District Council (35%) & Waipa District Council (2%). When the Trust is wound up these three councils will receive the capital in the percentages outlined.
Income beneficiaries are those electricity customers connected to the WEL Networks power lines network in the Trust's traditional area. Here is a map showing the Trust’s district. Within this area reside the electors and beneficiaries of the Trust.
WEL Energy Trust (the Trust) was formed in 1993 for the purpose of holding shares in the newly created WEL Energy Group, and has a governing document effective from this time, the Trust Deed.
The Trust was originally the 1/3 owner of the Group, and the purpose of this shareholding under the Trust Deed is to ensure the Company, now known as WEL Networks Ltd (the Company), operates as a ‘successful company’.
Under the Trust Deed, the definition of a ‘Successful Company’ includes not only profitability but the need to exhibit a sense of social responsibility by having regard to the interests of the community and by endeavouring to accommodate or encourage those interests when able to do so.
In 2000 the Trust became the 100% shareholder of WEL Networks Ltd.
Ultrafast Fibre Limited (UFF) was established by the Company in 2010 in order to fulfil a New Zealand Government initiative to rollout ultrafast broadband (UFB) across eight centres in Central North Island. Interests in fibre are held through Waikato Networks Ltd (WNL) of which WEL Networks Ltd is an 85% shareholder (Waipa Networks owns 15%). In 2020, the Company agreed to sell its shares in UFF, now known as Tuatahi First Fibre Ltd.
WEL Networks Ltd also has a smart box programme. The Top Energy project is delivered through Smart Co Ltd, of which WEL is a 15% shareholder.
As per the Trust Deed, on winding up of the Trust in 2073, the fund will be distributed to Territorial Authorities (Capital Beneficiaries) in specific proportions (Hamilton City Council – 63%, Waikato District Council – 35%, Waipa District Council – 2%).
The Trust office is generally open between 9.00 am and 3.00 pm, although staff are sometimes in the office outside of these times, and often work remotely, especially on Thursdays and Fridays when they are contactable via phone or email. Because of limited staffing, there also might be times when the office is closed during these hours. The Trust office is closed on public holidays and during the Christmas/New Year period. If you wish to meet with a member of the Trust's staff, we suggest you ring us to make an appointment.