What it does: Distributes gas and electricity
Staff stats: 450
The good bits: Friendly and supportive co-workers
The not so good bits: No career opportunities outside the North Island
Powerco is descended from New Plymouth Energy, Taranaki Energy, the Hawera Gas Company and the Wanganui Electric Power Board as well as others. The energy-market reforms of the 1990s resulted in New Zealand’s power industry split up and, in the case of electricity and gas distributors, sold off.
New Zealand now has two dual-energy distributors and Powerco is one of them. It’s the country’s largest electricity distributor by area and second-largest gas distributor. If you live on the North Island, you quite possibly get your electricity from Powerco, which it sources it from Transpower. You may also get your gas via Powerco, which sources it from a natural gas transmission system.
Powerco is headquartered in New Plymouth. It has branch offices in Palmerston North, Wellington and Tauranga. In 2018, Powerco had NZ$2.3b worth of assets, generated NZ$477 million in revenue and paid out NZ$56.8 million of dividends. Two Australian companies own Powerco. AMP Capital has a 42 per cent stake and Queensland Investment Corporation has a 58 per cent one.
The two companies Powerco is owned by are on the record as supporting diversity and inclusion. For example, the CEO of AMP Capital has stated, “The role of inclusion and diversity in driving business performance is compelling – beyond that, it is simply the right thing to do.” Given this, it can be assumed Powerco takes an equal-opportunity approach to recruitment and promotion.
Powerco seeks to be “a reliable partner” that provides “safe, secure and resilient electricity and gas” to New Zealanders. It also aspires to deliver “New Zealand’s energy future” while incorporating “good environmental, social and governance practices” into everything it does.
Particularly in recent years, Powerco has embraced sustainability. It now monitors its carbon footprint, seeks to minimise soil contamination when maintaining its substations and recycles much of the waste its operations generate. It also encourages staff and customers to use energy efficiently, promotes the use of electric vehicles and funds conservation initiatives.
Powerco encourages staff to get involved in their local communities and provides them with volunteer leave. Powerco supports good causes such as the Motor Neuron Disease Association, cycling safety programs, Manawatu’s Rural Games, Masterton’s Golden Shears event and the Powerco skate Park.
If you’re considering a career at Powerco, you may wish to apply for a Summer Intern position. These are open to both university and high school students.
If you want to apply to Powerco’s grad program, you’ll need a Bachelor of Engineering (or a similar qualification), as well as the right to work in New Zealand. Powerco seeks to recruit people who are dedicated, passionate, curious, open-minded and team players.
To apply for a grad position, you’ll need to wait for one to be advertised on the careers page of the company website. Powerco doesn’t detail what happens after that, but you should be ready for the usual online tests, interviews and possibly a visit to an assessment centre.
If you get into the grad program, you’ll have the opportunity to develop technical competence. You’ll also be supported as you work towards becoming an Engineering New Zealand chartered engineer. You’ll be partnered with both a senior engineer and a grad in the second year of the grad program. You could find yourself working in any or all of the following business areas:
Asset fleet management
Powerco claims to be “a company that cares for its employees”. It promises all staff “competitive salaries”. Even better, grads get a pay rise every six months to recognise their “increasing contribution to the success of our business”. Staff are also eligible for annual bonuses.
Powerco makes a four per cent company contribution to its workers’ KiwiSaver accounts. Employees also get subsidised corporate clothing, free fresh fruit, flu vaccinations and access to a range of health and wellness programs. As well as four weeks of annual leave and two weeks of sick leave, staff are offered study, parental and volunteer leave.
Powerco staff are offered development opportunities in the form of coaching, on-the-job learning, project involvement and secondments, as well as internal and external courses. Staff have performance discussions with their managers at least once a year. After these discussions, they update their Learning & Development plan with reference to what strengths, weaknesses and development opportunities have been identified. Support is provided to staff who wish to undertake a qualification (as long as it is relevant to their role and useful to Powerco).
Powerco is a Professional Development Partner of Engineering New Zealand.
Powerco combines the best of its public-service past and private-industry present. Staff are treated respectfully and have a reasonable degree of job security but also earn good money and get some impressive benefits. They work in modern, open-plan work environments with well-stocked office kitchens. Powerco encourages work-life balance and offers flexible start and finish times. If you’re interested in spending time with your colleagues outside of business hours, there are plenty of social activities you can get involved in.
Star Rating: Not available
"Powerco brings power to your community. We’re one of the largest electricity and gas distribution networks in New Zealand.
We keep the lights on for around 900,000 customers across 340,000 homes, businesses and organisations in our area.
We are one of only two of the country’s dual-energy distributors which makes us unique. Our gas network of underground pipes flows through Wellington, Taranaki, Manawatu and Hawke's Bay.
We employ over 400 employees over offices in New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Wellington and Tauranga.
We have a diverse workforce that includes, engineers, IT specialists, lawyers to graphic designers, accountants and personal assistants.
We have a well established and successful Engineering Graduate Programme and Summer Intern Programme.
Check our website and the work we’ve been doing lately."