Cleave excited at chance to lead trust

Woman in power . . . Doreen Cleave has been elected as chair of the Waitaki Power Trust. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A North Otago woman has been given a new position of power.

Doreen Cleave was elected chairwoman of the Waitaki Power Trust earlier this month.

As a relative newcomer to the trust — Ms Cleave was voted in as a trustee at the previous election in 2019 — she is excited to have the opportunity to lead the trust, but maintains it will be a team effort moving forward.

‘‘It’s not necessarily that I wanted to be chair. It’s [more] an opportunity for me to grow my skills, but we’re actually a team, a pretty good team.

‘‘We’ve been a team for the last couple of years, and we’ll carry that on for the next three years.’’

Elections for the three trustee members are held every three years, alongside local body elections, but a chairman or chairwoman is voted on annually.

While there was not a limit on how many years someone could serve in the role, Ms Cleave believed it was important they offered new perspectives.

‘‘I think after a certain length of time it’s good to get a little bit of new blood and new leadership in there.’’

Outside of the trust, Doreen was a chartered accountant, a Justice of the Peace, and a volunteer firefighter.

She hoped to help the trust shift to cleaner energy sources and be able to provide power to businesses throughout the district.

‘‘I want us to be ready for clean energy.

‘‘It’s not only the residential consumer, it’s our local industries as well. So if they’re getting rid of their coal boilers and such, to make use of some of the Government grants for cleaner energy, we would like them to be considering electricity over some of the other options.’’

The Waitaki Power Trust is 100% owner of Network Waitaki and holds the shares of the company on behalf of local power consumers.

Trustees appoint the directors of the company, work with the board to agree on the objectives of the company, and ensure the company is successful and works in the long-term interests of the consumers.

The trust also held its election for trustee members last month. The three elected were John Clements with 1951 votes, Herb Tonkin with 1849 votes, and Lichelle Guyan with 1624 votes.