As far as elections go, the recent Hawke's Bay Power Consumers' Trust was quite a tussle.

The quality of the candidates was most likely responsible for the high turnout of voters, which saw the top candidate Diana Kirton receive 12,047 votes. Mrs Kirton was elected along with Mrs Francis, 9490 votes; Mr Atkinson; 9044, Mr Gilligan, 8646; and Mrs Arnott, 7362. Unsuccessful candidates were John Geoghegan, 5940; Garth Cowie, 5826; Peter Dunkerley, 5681; Russell Wills, 5648; Chris Tremain, 5605; Liz Remmerswaal, 2407; Giles Pearson, 1968 and Bill Reilly, 1582.

Read more: Power consumers' trustees announced

But the battle was largely between two camps - the Your cheque-Your Choice campaign team of incumbent trustees Mrs Kirton, Mrs Francis and Mr Gilligan versus the Power of Five, featuring Mr Atkinson, Mrs Arnott, Mr Tremain, Dr Wills and Mr Dunkerley.


The five high-profile candidates sought more openness and transparency about how the trust should operate, including consultation on a wide range of issues including how the dividends could be spent. But one thing about Bay voters is they don't like to be told how to vote.

The perception in the amalgamation referendum was that lobby group A Better Hawke's Bay was trying to ram the proposal through. The referendum result was a resounding no. One suspects that this could have been a similar situation, but with the individual popularity of Mr Atkinson and Mrs Arnott seeing them elected.

In these types of elections it is always tough to unseat incumbents and voters probably felt they had more chance of keeping their dividend cheque if they elected Mrs Kirton, Mrs Francis and Mr Gilligan.

Hopefully the five people elected can work together for the good of the trust and the community.