Brian Pegler works for the Christchurch City Council’s Mayor’s Welfare Fund, which plays an integral role in supporting vulnerable people in Christchurch.
For many of these individuals, our pre-pay brand GLOBUG is sought as a tool to manage electricity – it breaks down the barriers to reconnection, helps people avoid the spiral of debt and can be paid for in small, manageable amounts.
While initially a sceptic of GLOBUG (and the sector in general), continuous engagement with Brian has allowed our relationship to evolve into one of collaboration. Together, we find better solutions for our mutual customers, with dignity always at the heart.
Brian is fundamental to our understanding of how we can best support these individuals. In short, he is our eyes and ears, and a voice for those who sometimes struggle to be heard.
Most recently Brian drew our attention to an increase in people seeking support from the Fund, coinciding with the onslaught of some bracingly cold winter weather. These insights allowed us to work with the Mayor’s Welfare Fund on a solution for GLOBUG customers. We ensured no disconnections occurred while working with the Mayor’s fund at this critical time.
It is not the first time we’ve done this with Brian’s intel, and we do not expect it to be the last.
Well-informed decisions like these enable us to maintain the integrity of one of our core foundations – the wellbeing of our customers. It is a value entirely aligned with Brian’s own imperatives.
It is also a commercially astute decision, helping our customers see the value of continuing to choose GLOBUG as their electricity provider.
“I have worked with vulnerable people for years. Without GLOBUG many of the at-risk households I support would be without electricity and further disadvantaged. Electricity is a basic human need – it is absolutely vital to our health, wellbeing and income.”
"ELECTRICITY IS A BASIC HUMAN NEED – IT IS ABSOLUTELY VITAL TO OUR HEALTH, WELLBEING AND INCOME."
Helen joined Mercury twenty years ago as an analyst, helping the business transition onto a new data platform. However, the trajectory of her career changed dramatically when she realised her passion was in supporting individuals and families who needed help.
Now, Helen leads Mercury’s community relations team and is tasked with helping improve the wellbeing of our most vulnerable customers by partnering with other groups like Christchurch’s Mayor’s Welfare Fund.
Her role is unique, in that it covers customer support at an individual level, grassroots community involvement, and also engagement with key government agencies and stakeholders. Helen believes having flexibility to navigate these multiple touchpoints with fluidity sets Mercury apart in its community engagement practices.
With a nationwide focus, Helen sees first-hand how diverse communities across the country are. Each has its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. A common thread is the unconditional love, care and support for the families in these close-knit groups. These insights highlight that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t serve these families and individuals as well as targeted and focused support.
Essential to achieving better outcomes is a fulsome view of the different pressure points a family may be facing, along with the acceptance that electricity accessibility is often one of the many balls these families are struggling to keep in the air.
“Partnerships are a path we follow. Along that path there are gates we go through and each gate is another organisation with information to help us get to our destination – helping a family get back on track. These voices are important to us finding collective solutions that ease pressure in a more holistic and sustainable way.”
In a world where environmental, social and economic systems are inextricably linked, no organisation can operate successfully in isolation. This interconnectivity means the actions we take create far-reaching ripples, and seemingly small decisions are easily magnified. That is why ‘partnerships’ is one of our five pillars.
Mercury’s approach to partnerships is extensively applied across our business. Whether it is operating our hydro and geothermal assets, serving our customers or looking after our people, working with others contributes to better, more sustainable outcomes.