What matters most?

Understanding our material issues, what matters most to our diverse range of stakeholders, is vital to our operations.

As we look toward the growth of the grid to support increased electrification, we need to actively maintain a clear view on how we are perceived as an organisation. 

We must understand and respond to, stakeholder sentiment on our social, environmental and economic impacts. 

We undertook an extensive materiality assessment in FY21. Since then we have continued to evolve our understanding of material issues and deepen our understanding of the positive and negative impacts of each issue, their potential scale, scope and severity, and likely risk of occurrence. 

We intend to conduct a further materiality assessment in 2025.

A matrix diagram showing Transpower's material issues and perceived scope and significance of their impact

Transpower's three top materiality issues

Climate change mitigation and adaptation

Key impacts identified

  • Supporting New Zealand society’s transition to a low carbon economy
  • Responsibility for GHG emissions due to transmission losses
  • Promoting renewable energy generation and carbon reduction initiatives
  • Climate change impacts from use of non-renewable energy sources
  • Power outages caused by climate- related events.

Society’s transition to a low carbon economy remains our top materiality issue. Stakeholders identified Transpower’s key material impact here as the work we are doing to enable the nation’s transition to a low carbon economy, and to promote a more highly renewable grid. Stakeholders also noted this as an area where Transpower has the potential to deliver wider value beyond our work as grid owner and System Operator.

Customers and consumers

Key impacts identified

  • Impact to consumers due to disrupted electricity supply
  • Increasing renewable electricity supply by connecting new generation and expanding our network to meet increasing demand by our customers
  • Electricity affordability.

Our stakeholders have emphasised the serious economic and social impacts a disrupted power supply can have on our customers and consumers, as well as the positive impact of our work to meet growing electricity demand by processing a higher number of new connection and supply enquiries.

Community and landowner relationships 

Key impacts identified

  • Visual impact of our towers and transmission lines
  • Potential safety impacts associated with the installation, operation and maintenance of transmission lines on private land.

We work extensively with landowners and communities to build and maintain positive relationships that ensure we can collectively carry on with our activities.

Other materiality issues identified

Advocacy – Our stakeholders recognise that Transpower is in a unique position to have an impact on and enable the ongoing decarbonisation of the electricity sector, and to inform related policy discussions and decisions. Feedback reflected on Transpower’s positive impact through facilitating research and innovation and our commitment to dialogue with those who are helping to shape a net zero carbon future.

Environmental stewardship – Our stakeholders recognise the potential impact Transpower has across a wide range of the country’s ecosystems and landscapes. Transpower’s biodiversity strategy takes a proactive stance via its commitment to a kaitiakitanga role in our day-to-day activities and a net biodiversity gain from future projects.

Future workforce – Transpower’s ability to recruit skilled professionals is seen as having an ongoing impact on our value creation as an organisation. Our stakeholders recognise that we have a vital role in attracting, training, and retaining a skilled workforce and that this benefits the wider New Zealand energy sector and ensures we can deliver on our decarbonisation goals.

Good governance – There are high expectations of our governance, particularly in our assurance of financial and non-financial disclosures. Stakeholders recognise the potential ongoing impact that long-term integrated thinking will have for the electricity sector. Our stakeholders consider it essential that our senior leadership are educated in environmental, social and governance issues to ensure robust decision-making and operations.

Cybersecurity – Risks to the electricity market and grid due to cyber-attacks continue to concern our stakeholders. Transpower’s robust cybersecurity and ongoing monitoring mitigates this risk.