Utilities Disputes name change FAQ

Why did The Office of the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner Scheme (EGCC) change its name to Utilities Disputes?

The name “Utilities Disputes” reflects changes in the utilities sector. It is an evolution, not a revolution. As providers innovate and expand their offerings, Utilities Disputes will provide a flexible and robust dispute resolution service for consumers of utilities.

Utilities Disputes will be able to offer high quality dispute resolution in a wider range of scenarios, creating efficiency gains and ease of access for both consumers and providers. Scenarios may include ‘one big bill’ with electricity, gas, telephone and broadband, land access, and multiple connectivity, among others.

Utilities Disputes will continue to resolve complaints in the electricity and gas industries with its long-standing tradition of quality, independence and fairness.

Consumers will be well served by an independent service that can offer a diverse range of dispute resolution expertise. As the utilities sector changes and evolves, Utilities Disputes will be ready to add value.

What is the definition of “Utilities”?

The Oxford Dictionary describes “utilities” as meaning “a public utility” with examples such as electricity, gas, water and telecom. In the Merriam Webster Dictionary, the definition is “a service (such as a supply of electricity or water) that is provided to the public, or a company that provides electricity, water, etc.” We follow these definitions.

How did the change take place?

As early as 2011, an independent report commissioned by the Board of the EGCC determined that the EGCC Scheme needed to change to reflect the changes in the energy marketplace. The Board began to consider the topics raised by the report. In 2014, the Board decided the time was right to move forward with plans for an enhanced Scheme. In 2015, consultation sessions took place across New Zealand with input gained from providers and stakeholders. The Board endorsed many of the collected suggestions and a revised Scheme document was submitted to the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. The submission was approved in late September 2016, paving the way for our name change to Utilities Disputes Ltd.

What is the impact on consumers and providers?

We will continue to resolve complaints regarding electricity and gas with our ongoing commitment to fairness, independence and neutrality. The service will remain free to consumers. We will continue to meet benchmarks for efficiency and effectiveness. Our current staff remains the same. Over time, the impact to the consumer is that Utilities Disputes will have more scope to consider complaints.

What is the meaning of the Māori name for Utilities Disputes, Tautohetohe Whaipainga?

We consulted with language translation experts about the Māori name of Utilities Disputes. We learned that while in English the name is Utilities Disputes, Māori reverses the order of the words.

The translation is:

Tautohetohe

  1. (verb) (-a,-ngia,-tia) to contend with each other, persist, argue, debate, haggle, quarrel. E rima hāora me te hāwhe te Hīnota Tianara e tautohetohe ana mō tēnei mōtini, ā, kātahi anō ka pāhi (TTT 1/5/1928:774). / General Synod were debating this motion for five and a half hours, and then it finally passed

Whaipainga

  1. (noun) to nourish, value, benefit E tumanako ana ia i raro i te tikanga whakatopu pānga tēnā e whaipainga a Ngāi Tahu i ōna whenua papatipu e takoto rauroha tonu mai nā (TTT 1/11/1930:2180). / Under the process of consolidating shares, he wants Ngāi Tahu to benefit from its ancestral lands which lie spread out there
  2. (modifier) useful, valuable, beneficia Rapua māu he ūmanga whaipainga (Ng 1993:517). / Seek for yourself a useful occupation
  3. (noun) benefit, value, goodness, utility He whaipainga ake mā te katoa (Ng 1993:517). / It was a public utility

We are proud to help resolve a complaint about your utilities provider in any language.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding the transition from EGCC to Utilities Disputes.

Email info@utilitiesdisputes.co.nz or call 0800 22 33 40