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Watch NZH Local Focus: King Country residents debate future of power trust

Around 150 shareholders and beneficiaries of King Country Electric Power Trust turned out to hear Chairman Rob Carter explain plans to do a deal with Trustpower in Turangi.

He told the crowd - "I've got to frank about this, I don't think any of our trustees are particularly enjoying this situation we find ourselves in."

As part of the 5 yearly ownership review the trust is considering a restructure - which would see it giving up shares in the region's most profitable power station - but taking full ownership of King Country Energy and five smaller stations.

But - that's just one of five options on the table.

Last year the Trust's 20 percent share in King Country Energy returned 1.3 million dollars to local organisations.

And - there are fears if the proposed deal goes through - funds could dry up.

Shareholder Maggie Stewart told the meeting - "I would like to see see status quo for a while so that the Trust can then look at the other option - option two - turning it into a community trust because I feel that with the electricity the way it is in ten years time its going to look completely different to what it looks now."

Even Uwe Kroll one of the trustees has his doubts about the main deal on the table - which is known as Option Five.

"I'm very much opposed to number 5 especially if we give up the crown jewel, that's Mangahoe, that actually produces the most power," he says.

This was just the first of three public meetings on the issue. Members have to make submissions by 17 March.

A decision on the future of the Trust is expected to be made by the end of April.

- NZ Herald

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