A Century of Connection

Reflecting and looking forward in Unison …

As we approach the centenary celebration of Unison on 19 June, I’m reminded of our modest beginnings in 1924 as the Hawke’s Bay Electric Power Board. Back then, our main goal was to establish the first electrical networks in the Hawke’s Bay region.

From these simple roots, Unison has continued to play a part in the daily lives of our communities over the last century. Electricity has powered our regional growth, prosperity, and our livelihoods. These days we tend not to think much of it until it’s not there; a confronting reality we all grappled with through the devastation of Cyclone Gabrielle.

Reflecting on our journey over the last 100 years from consumer ownership, community partnerships, expansion of our network and Unison’s group of companies, through to numerous incident response moments and natural disasters, we’ve had our fair share of highs and lows.

What I am most proud of is our connection, our dedication and commitment to our communities and consumers throughout the good times and the bad. No matter the weather, the economy, or the politics of the day, our role remains the same: to power our communities and our regions. It’s what we’ve always done and what we will continue to do for years to come. 

Unison is owned by the consumers of Hawke’s Bay and staffed by the people of Hawke’s Bay. Our people are our community and our consumers. From this perspective, there’s no doubt that our commitment and loyalties remain firmly anchored to our region.

Over many years, Unison has grown from a small local lines company to a group of specialist electricity companies spanning the globe, all under the ownership of the Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers Trust. From switchgear and transformer manufacturing to network design, asset management, and high and low voltage contracting services, Unison Group’s vision is to lead a sustainable energy future – but what does it mean?

For me, it’s about leveraging our group of complementary companies and combined expertise to accelerate and support the aspirations of our customers, our region, our country, and the world, to transition to cleaner energy systems that enable decarbonisation. That’s a mouthful, but ultimately, it’s our contribution to a better future for our children, grandchildren, and generations beyond. In doing so we build a profitable and sustainable business for the direct benefit of our owners, the consumers of Hawke’s Bay.

This year’s anniversary isn’t just a milestone; it’s a celebration of our shared history, our moments, and our memories of power and people. And we are calling on our community to share their chapter in this story.  We’re already seeing some amazing memories and stories being shared through our dedicated Facebook group.


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First published by BayBuzz. Click here to read the full article.