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The local energy company has been inundated with thousands of public queries about TECT’s proposal, says Hawksworth, and he says the confusion and concern customers are expressing are of TECT’s own making.

“We think it’s time the trustees pulled the plug on this and reconsidered the whole process and proposal, perhaps starting with: do Trustpower customers actually want change?”

TECT seem to be unaware of the extent of public confusion and suspicion about the trustees’ intentions and motives, he says.

“TECT aren’t telling people the real reasons for this irreversible change or what’s going to happen after,” he says. “People are worried because there are so many unanswered questions.

TECT is asking for submissions on its proposal before putting a final proposal to public vote and Hawksworth is urging Trustpower customers to have their say ahead of the deadline at 4pm Thursday, 1 March.

TECT has not informed the public about when verbal submissions on the proposal can be heard or when and where. People don’t know when TECT will publish a final proposal and when voting will be held. There is no clarity around the independence and integrity of the vote process, nor whether the votes will be postal or electronic, Hawksworth notes

“This is basic information that – four days out from the final deadline for submissions – we still don’t know,” he says. “On the current trajectory it appears TECT wants to hold the vote over Easter and the school holidays, which would reduce the number of people voting.

“We’ve heard from people who say they ticked the wrong box because the form was unclear and others who would have ticked a different box if they knew then what they know now,” Hawksworth says.

 “Surely TECT wants every affected person to have a say on what happens to their money, given TECT holds Trustpower shares on our customers’ behalf,” Hawksworth says. “This is too important a decision for people to be denied the relevant information about what happens with their assets.”