Gas industry structure
New Zealand natural gas is produced only in the Taranaki area and the gas industry has several components:
In 1959 natural gas was discovered in Taranaki. This was New Zealand's first large commercial find (Kapuni). As a result, the Natural Gas Corporation (NGC) was established by the Government, for the purpose of buying, processing and wholesaling the new resource. NGC has now been purchased by Vector Limited. Not long after, in 1969, the major Maui field was discovered off the coast of Taranaki.
Natural gas is currently produced in the Taranaki region. A number of other fields have joined the Kapuni and Maui fields. These include Pohokura, McKee, Mangatiewa, Rimu, Ngatoro fields.
In 1969 construction was completed on a pipeline from the Kapuni treatment plant to Auckland and Wellington. A gas treatment plant was commissioned in 1970 and bulk gas transmission began. The transmission network has since been extended to Gisborne and Hastings in the east, and to Kauri in the far north.
A second pipeline was also constructed to carry Maui gas from Oaonui on the Taranaki coast to Huntly and Auckland.
Today New Zealand has over 2,300 km of high-pressure gas transmission pipelines.
A distributor reticulates gas through piping networks in urban areas. The provision of network services is known as "line function services". There are four main companies which distribute natural gas through the North Island. These four gas distributors are: GasNet; Nova Energy; PowerCo; and Vector.
There is no distribution of reticulated natural gas in the South Island, but there are small LPG reticulation schemes in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wanaka, Arrowtown and Queenstown.
A gas retailer is a company which sells natural gas from distribution network companies to consumers. Consumers are able to choose which retailer they wish to buy their gas from.
The Consumers' Institute of New Zealand operate PowerSwitch which can assist consumers in making this decision.
A list of distributors and retailers may be found on the Gas Industry Company website.