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NEW chairman of The Lines Company Mark
Darrow is promising to open up a “measured
and constructive” conversation with the energy
network company’s customers.
The change in chairman was confirmed at the
company’s annual general meeting on Thursday,
with Mr Darrow taking over the helm from
Mr Don had been on The Lines Company
(TLC) board for 19 years, the last 11 as chairman.
A qualified accountant and professional di-
rector, Mr Darrow has had governance roles
in a range of industries including automotive,
agriculture, manufacturing and education during
the past 30 years.
He is also currently chairman of
Primary ITO, Armstrong Mo-
tor Group, Signum Hold-
ings, Toloda Properties
His other present
or past directorships
include Balle Bros
Group, Dekra New
Zealand, the Mo-
tor Trade Association
(MTA), Charlie’s Group
Ltd, the New Zealand Mo-
tor Industry Training Or-
ganisation (MITO), GE Capital
New Zealand, and several private
He is also a trustee for Macular Degeneration
New Zealand (MDNZ).
A member of the New Zealand Institute of
Chartered Accountants and a chartered member
of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, Mr
Darrow was heavily involved in the 2011 sale of
Charlie’s Group Ltd to Asahi Group, the mergers
of MITO with EXITO and Tranzqual, the sale of
PGG Wrightson Finance Ltd to Heartland New
Zealand Ltd, the acquisition of Water Dynamics
and Aquaspec by PGG Wrightson and the sale
of a majority stake in Vehicle Testing Group to
He was the founding chairman for Veritas
Investments and oversaw the acquisitions of The
Mad Butcher, Kiwi Pacific Foods, Nosh Food
Group and the Better Bar Company Group.
But his roots have pulled him back to the King
Country, where he lived for his first 22 years.
Educated at St Patrick’s Catholic School and
Taumarunui High School, he was a King Country
tennis and hockey representative and a member
of the Taumarunui and Te Kuiti choral and op-
Mr Darrow joined the TLC board in Septem-
ber 2015 and is relishing the opportunity to work
back in the King Country.
“I still consider it home, have always supported
the King Country rugby team through thick and
thin, and really enjoy having a business connec-
tion back in the area,” he says.
“While TLC is industry leading
with its approach to capacity
based charging, that system
can be enhanced further
with the better use of
“We continue to
invest heavily in this
area as well as look-
ing at ways to accel-
erate that progress
to use even smarter
increasingly better usage
data improves the transpar-
ency of the system, which we
welcome and we are pushing hard
Mr Darrow says TLC also needs to be “much
better with how we deal with customers”.
“We need to simplify the system so that it is
more understandable – much of the criticism is
because we haven’t explained the billing system
well enough in what is an incredibly technical
“If the average person doesn’t understand the
charging system, then we haven’t done our job
“ The second is continuing to improve the data
behind the billing system to achieve better clarity
and simplicity of the model.
“While the fundamentals are sound, we ac-
knowledge there is still work to be done. In
a small number of specific cases, we need to
change the tone of the conversation from being
an adversarial one, to being more measured and
Mr Darrow says: “TLC leads the industry with
its approach and is really a pioneer in this area,
and in our view the wider industry will adopt
this system over time because of its inherent
practicality and fairness.
“Our customers need to understand that TLC
works very hard to deliver a high level technical
service in a challenging geographic area and
“We have some incredibly committed and
talented people who work hard and whom we
“ The board is absolutely committed to con-
tinuing improvement of the organisation and, in
particular, together with the management team,
it will focus on system improvement.
“In its governance role the board also needs to
focus on making sure our assets are productive
and that the shareholder receives a fair return
given the capital outlay and business risk.
“We appreciate the criticality of the service we
provide to the region and take that responsibility
then we haven’t
done our job
MARK Darrow is the new chairman of The Lines Company board. Mr Darrow has been a board
member since September last year and takes over from Malcolm Don.
TLC elects new chairman
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