Centralines history

We are proud to have delivered high quality electricity and related services to our customers since 1922. This section contains information on our history, our highly skilled team and our disclosure documents.


A print from an early "Central Hawkes Bay Electrical Power Board" stamp

The growth of electricity supply in Central Hawke's Bay
1921 In January 1921, a group of local body representatives from throughout Central Hawke's Bay held a meeting in Waipukurau with the aim of forming a Power Board to install a network for the supply of electricity to homes and businesses in the district.
1922 To form a Power Board, they had to present a submission signed by 25 percent of the district's ratepayers to the Governor General. Their submission was successful and the Central Hawke's Bay Power Board was constituted by gazette notice on 19 October 1922. The first election for board members took place on 19 December and the first directors were: E A Goodger (Waipukurau Borough), W H Rathbone (Waipawa Borough), A C Russell (Waipukurau County), F J Witherow, R A Fraser, J A Kerr (Waipawa County), W Malenoir, C Pattison, T Butler (Patangata County).
1923 On 3 October 1923, a poll of ratepayers gave authority to raise the sum of 150,000 pounds to reticulate (install a network of power poles and electricity carrying cables) the district.
1925 At 2pm on Tuesday 20 October 1925, the Onga Onga sub-station was officially opened. However it had been in use for some weeks before that with the power coming from the Mangahao hydro-electric station at the foothills of the ranges near Shannon. The supply from this was, to say the least, erratic and shut downs were not uncommon, resulting in concern from the hospitals and in particular the then Pukeora Sanatorium.
1928 The reticulation of the district went ahead, and by 1928 lines were as far as Wanstead and in 1936, Porangahau went live.
1937 The Board began manufacturing its own concrete poles in 1937 at a cost of four pounds, four shillings and ten pence. Centralines continued to make all its own poles until 2003, when it was no longer economic to do so. 
1939  The war years (1939 - 1945) brought continued reticulation to a standstill as many staff were on active service and supplies and material were difficult, if not impossible, to get. 
1950  After the war, Mr E Bunn took over the private line erection contract from his father and he continued putting up lines until July 1950 when the Board decided it would be responsible for all network development. The Board continued to do this until 1956 when Mr Yewen was employed as line contractor and he completed the reticulation of the district. 
1956  Power shortages continued to plague the board as far back as 1941 which had a major effect on the Board's income. However, the problem lessened and in 1956 a house was erected at Porangahau for an inspector/faultman. 
1957-1990 During the next three decades the Power Board continued to build its business, and the district's network electricity assets went from strength to strength.
1991  In 1991, under new company reforms the old Power Board structure went out of existence, and was replaced with CHB Power.
1998 In 1998 new government legislation deregulated the electricity sector, requiring the company to separate the ownership of its line and energy supply business.
1999 The Electricity Reform Act 1998 states that owners of a line network business cannot also sell electricity. After careful consideration, the directors decided to retain the local asset and in November 1998 sold the energy business. As a result, CHB Power changed its name to Centralines Limited on 1 July 1999. This ended a significant era in the company's history after retailing electricity to the Central Hawke's Bay for 77 years. 
2001 Further innovations in Centralines administration were introduced in April 2001, with the signing of a one-year contract, with neighbouring line network company Scanpower from Dannevirke, for the supply of management services to Centralines. This initiative broke new ground in the industry and was considered very successful. 
 2011 In a continued effort to seek opportunities to enhance the operation of its business, Centralines was able to negotiate their latest management contract with Unison Networks Limited. Signed on 1 October 2002, for a initial period of five years, the contract provides a certain level of consistency to the management and direction of the company. This management contract is still in place today, having been rolled over for an additional five years.