Today, national grid owner and operator Transpower New Zealand and Ngā Kaitiaki o Ngāti Kauwhata Inc representing Ngāti Kauwhata signed an agreement at Aorangi Marae Feilding to formalise the existing relationship between them.
Transpower’s high voltage transmission network has been in the rohe of Ngāti Kauwhata for many generations. Bunnythorpe substation was first built in 1924, and today is a key transmission interconnection point – helping shift bulk power north or south depending on need. The lines connecting from Bunnythorpe to other centres also cross over Ngāti Kauwhata rohe.
Iwi representative Dennis Emery welcomed the agreement as underlining the importance that companies like Transpower place on sustaining relationships with Ngāti Kauwhata.
“Ngāti Kauwhata is active in its region – finding opportunities that are good for Ngāti Kauwhata but also good for the community. We look to build on many relationships across many different areas – electricity transmission, roading, rail, water to ensure that we are part of conversations about our community of which we are a significant part.”
For Transpower’s Chief Executive, Alison Andrew, the agreement formalises a warm relationship already. “We’ve been here for a while, but of course not as long as Ngāti Kauwhata, and we wanted to more formally ensure that we reflect on our connection in the past, and ensure we sustain that connection for the future”, she said.
“It’s about ensuring we’re continuing to talk – because through talk comes opportunity – opportunity to work together on areas of common interest – whether it’s on New Zealand’s zero-carbon future, or employment pathways within Transpower and wider electricity sector for Ngāti Kauwhata rangatahi.”