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EA Networks is the trading name of Electricity Ashburton Limited, a co-operative network business based in Mid Canterbury. The business incorporates an asset management function (the Network Division) and a contracting function (the Field Services Division).
There are 30,069,100 shares issued in Electricity Ashburton Limited. The Ashburton District Council holds 28,750,000 of these shares in a non-rebate/non-voting form. The consumers/shareholders connected to the local electricity distribution system hold 1,278,200 rebate shares at 100 shares per consumer. All consumers/shareholders obtain a discount based on the line charges paid to the company.
All new electricity consumers are initially a shareholder in the co-operative company. Almost every new consumer chooses to retain their shareholding and only a handful of existing consumers are not shareholders. Each shareholder (consumer) has one vote to elect a shareholder committee member, irrespective of the size/scale of their electrical connection(s). The shareholders have the responsibility to consider their choice of committee member carefully to ensure they faithfully represent their views both in appointing directors and influencing the performance of the company as a whole.
The Shareholders Committee represent the interests of the shareholders/consumers (to be a shareholder one must be a consumer). The Committee is responsible for the appointment of directors, scrutiny of Statement of Corporate Intent (including performance targets) and monitoring and reporting of the performance of the company and directors to the shareholders. The Shareholders Committee also provides the principal means to resolve conflicts between asset management practices and large stakeholder interests. Four of the seven members of the Shareholders Committee are elected by a one-vote-per-shareholder ballot, the remaining three positions are appointed by the Ashburton District Council.
The Board of Directors of EA Networks currently has six members. The board is appointed by the Shareholders Committee to oversee the management of the company and is responsible for all Corporate Governance matters. The board endeavours to ensure that the activities undertaken are carried out in the best interest of all shareholders, while respecting the rights of other stakeholders. The board meet monthly during the financial year.