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Two new directors appointed to The Lines Company board

Media release – immediate circulation

7 May 2021

Waitomo Energy Services Customer Trust (WESCT) is pleased to announce the appointment of two new directors to the board of The Lines Company (TLC) – Mike Underhill and Doug Troon..

Mike and Doug’s appointments replace the position vacated by Simon Fleisher, who resigned to move to Canberra for a work opportunity; as well as filling a short-term vacancy on the board.

Peter Keeling, chair of WESCT, says the trustees interviewed a number of high-quality candidates over March and April, with the two successful directors taking up their positions on May 1.

“Mike and Doug bring extensive industry and professional experience to the TLC board and we are excited to welcome them. Both are extremely passionate about the value of community-owned infrastructure businesses and the positive roles they play in local communities, and their expertise will be a great asset to the TLC board. ”

Both Mike and Doug are members of the Institute of Directors, are degree-qualified professional engineers and are involved in a number of other industry-related roles that will enable them to make a significant contribution to TLC.

Mike Underhill (Ngāti Raukawa) lives between Wellington and Otaki. He has a wealth of electricity industry experience gained over a career spanning more than three decades. He is currently a director on two other lines company boards: Network Waitaki (Oamaru) and Electra (Kapiti and Horowhenua) and has also recently been appointed to the board of Wellington Water Ltd.

Between 2007 and 2016 Mike was also the chief executive of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), a government organisation tasked with promoting energy efficiency and renewables. Prior to that, Mike was chief executive of WEL Networks, which owns the electricity networks for Hamilton and northern Waikato. He has also completed a three-year Volunteer Service Abroad assignment in Samoa.

Doug Troon will join the board from his Auckland base. He has 35 years’ experience consulting experience, starting with Duffill Watts & King Ltd as a civil engineer in Dunedin, later becoming chief executive of the firm, which was acquired by Downer Consulting Pty Ltd.

He is currently chairman of surveying, engineering and planning firm Cheal Consultants, which operates in the King Country and Central North Island. He also chairs Skellerns Metal Castings, which produced the Sir Colin Meads statue in Te Kuiti; as well as Doubtless Bay Water Supply Co, among other chair and director positions. Doug is also a past director of two lines companies: Counties Power Ltd and Top Energy Ltd.

“Mike and Doug’s collective experience will be a tremendous addition to the board of The Lines Company. We look forward to their contribution as we continue to work with TLC for the benefit of our local community,” says Mr Keeling.

Peter Keeling, Trust Chairperson