The Electricity Corporation of New Zealand Ltd (ECNZ) was set up as a company under the State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Act to own and operate the generation and transmission assets of the Ministry of Energy.


Energy Companies Act (1992) required all municipal electricity departments and power boards to be incorporated, and allowed individual communities to determine how the shares in the new energy companies were to be held. The Act of 1992 saw Otago Central Electric Power Board incorporate to Central Electric Limited, (on 30th March 1993) wholly owned by Otago Central Electric Power Trust.


Electricity Industry Reforms Act (1998) gave companies in the electricity market till 1st April 1999 to separate their electricity generation and trading business from their lines businesses. 


While most trusts retained their lines business; Otago Central Electric Power Board sold its lines and retail business, retaining the generation business.  The profits from the sale and the generation business was bestowed to Central Lakes Trust. Central Electric Limited renamed itself Pioneer Generation Limited on 8th June 1999.


Diversifying its portfolio of investment, Pioneer Generation changed its name to Pioneer Energy Limited in January 2016. 


Over the past 19 years Central Lakes Trust has distributed more than $99m in grants into a wide range of community projects and services throughout the Central Lakes area, enhancing our community and the lives of the people within it, powered in part by the dividend provided to us from Pioneer Energy.