Our history

Meridian originated from the break-up of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand when the New Zealand electricity market was reformed in 1999.

Meridian's share of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand was corporatised as a state-owned enterprise. It has its own board of directors and two ministerial shareholders – the Minister of Energy and the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises.

  • 1904

    Waitaki Valley recognition

    • Mr P S Hay, in the government’s Public Works Department, recognises the electricity generation potential of the Waitaki Valley.

    Waitaki Dam begins

    • Work starts on the Waitaki Dam, as a ‘make work’ project during the 1930s depression.

    Tekapo A is fully operational


    Manapōuri hydro station construction begins

  • 1965

    Benmore hydro station is fully operational


    Waitaki hydro scheme


    Manapōuri hydro station is fully operational


    Tekapo B hydro station is fully operational

  • 1979

    Ōhau A hydro station is fully operational


    Ōhau B and C are fully operational


    Brooklyn wind turbine

    • Electricity Corporation of New Zealand installs the Brooklyn wind turbine, as part of a research project to find out how wind turbines perform in New Zealand conditions.  

  • 1999

    Meridian forms


    Meridian grows

    • Meridian buys five hydropower stations in Australia. Linked with dams, the stations are used primarily for irrigation, and have a total generating capacity of 62MW. 
    • Meridian buys the South Island customer base of Natural Gas Corporation - New Zealand’s largest electricity retailer at the time. 

    Manapōuri tunnel

    • The second Manapōuri tailrace tunnel (2MTT) is commissioned.

    Southern Hydro and Arc Innovations

    • Meridian buys the Australian power company Southern Hydro, increasing its Australian generation capacity by 540MW. 
    • Meridian establishes Arc Innovations, specialising in advanced meter infrastructure technology and services.

    First wind farm

    • Meridian's first wind farm, the 90MW Te Āpiti project, is operational. 

    Southern Hydro sale

    • Meridian sells its Australian operation, Southern Hydro, to the Australian Gas Light Company for AU$1.42 billion (NZ$1.52 billion). 

    Whisper Tech

    • Whisper Tech, a Christchurch-based company with an eco-friendly home heating system called WhisperGen™, becomes a full Meridian subsidiary. 

    White Hill and Right House

    • Right House launches. A subsidiary of Meridian that uses smart meter technology to help New Zealanders look after the way they run and heat their homes. 

    West Wind, Ross Island and Powershop

    • Ross Island three turbine wind farm in Antarctica is operational (approximately 1MW). 
    • Powershop launches. A subsidiary of Meridian that lets customers buy electricity and monitor their use online.

    CalRENEW-1 and Mt Millar

    • CalRENEW-1 5MW solar farm is operational. 
    • Meridian buys Mt Millar 70MW wind farm in South Australia.

    Te Uku, Tekapo, Right House and Whisper Tech

    • Te Uku 64MW wind farm is operational. 
    • Tekapo A and B hydropower stations are sold to Genesis Energy. 
    • Right House subsidiary is sold to UK-based Mark Group. 
    • Meridian subsidiary Whisper Tech transfers to Spain to manufacture and distribute direct to their market. 

    New CEO, Maama Mai and wind farm construction


    Government Share Offer Programme and KidsCan