Our network

From the Rakaia to the Waimakariri, Banks Peninsula to Arthur’s Pass, Orion owns and operates the electricity distribution network providing power to central Waitaha Canterbury.

Our network covers remote rural areas, regional towns and the city of Christchurch and extends over 8,000 square kilometres, delivering electricity to more than 225,000 homes and businesses.

We are a community owned entity with two key shareholders - the Christchurch City Council(external link), through its subsidiary Christchurch City Holdings Ltd(external link), and the Selwyn District Council(external link). We aim to create value for our shareholders and we contribute significantly to the economic success of our region.



Connetics Limited(external link) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Orion and focuses on construction and maintenance of substations, overhead and underground lines and associated equipment across the motu. Connetics also operates an equipment supply and distribution business, and provides engineering design and consultancy services.


We are committed to demonstrating the highest standards of governance. We aim to achieve the best outcomes balancing the needs of our owners, customers, individuals and our community. In accordance with section 36 of the Energy Companies Act 1992, our principal objective is to operate as a successful business.

Our shareholders appoint the directors to govern Orion New Zealand Limited. The Orion Board appoints the directors of Connetics Limited. The Orion Board is the overall and final body responsible for the direction and control of the companies activities and decision-making.

The boards’ responsibilities include the overall strategy, objectives, stewardship, performance and reporting of the relevant entities and Group.

Every year, after consultation with the company’s shareholders, a Statement of Intent (SOI) is approved by the board. The SOI sets out the company’s overall objectives and intentions, as well as performance targets for the next three years. The board also ensures that shareholders are informed of all major developments affecting the company’s state of affairs.


We have a long history in the Canterbury region. In 1903 the Christchurch City Council established a small scale public supply of electricity.  In subsequent years other local councils established similar departments.

As electricity use increased and customer numbers grew, many of these departments merged. In 1989, a joint venture between the Christchurch City Council (MED), the Central Canterbury Electric Power Board, Riccarton Electricity and the Port Hills Energy Authority was formed.  This joint venture was known as Southpower.

Southpower was both a lines company and a retailer of electricity.  Following government reform of the sector, in 1998 Southpower sold the electricity retail activities of the business and retained the network activities.

In December 1998 the company was renamed Orion New Zealand Limited.