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13/06/2011

Z Skyway – a New Zealand company at the gateway to New Zealand

What will become one of the country’s most visible Kiwi brands is now in business. Z Energy has this morning opened its second Z-branded service station, Z Skyway. This follows close on the heels of the opening of the first ever Z service station in Greenlane, Auckland, on 3 June,

Located near the airport on the corner of Tom Pearce Drive and George Bolt Memorial Drive, Z Skyway was officially opened this morning by local MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.

The decision to replace the Shell logo with a new brand that reflects the local ownership of the business was developed following one of the largest pieces of customer research into what Kiwi consumers want in a locally owned service station.

“Today, a year after Infratil and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund invested $700 million in buying the Shell business, we can now offer our customers a new retail offer under a brand that is all about New Zealand,” said Z CEO Mike Bennetts.

Mike said the most immediate and visible change will be one of the largest rebranding exercises in recent New Zealand history, but changing the colours and the brand is only a part of the story.

“The Z brand will provide a visual point of difference and our customers will know they’re supporting a Kiwi company when they shop with us. More importantly, our new look stores will provide customers with a completely overhauled and significantly improved offer,” Mike said.

With the Z brand we have redesigned our stores and our offer around what people told us they want - we have made a commitment to forecourt service and we will be offering café quality food and coffee.

So what will the first Z customers see and experience?

“People told us that they want to get in, get world-class fuel, good coffee and fresh café- quality food and be on their way quickly. They want dedicated forecourt service to be there for people that want it and they want clean, modern restrooms.

“We’ll deliver all of these things under the Z brand and we’re going to support New Zealand businesses along the way – for example our new pies are produced in the Hawke’s Bay, and our cupcakes are made by Laurel Watson in Auckland.”

Mike said that, perhaps above all else, customers wanted Z to contribute to the New Zealand economy and to things that matter in our local communities.

“So, while the profits from the Z business will be kept in New Zealand and go towards meeting the costs of superannuation, we will also be investing directly in the things that matter locally,” he said.

 “With every Z site that we open, we will be donating $5,000 to community organisations, with customers able to vote for four local community organisations. For the Skyway site, this $5,000 will be allocated, according to customer votes between SPCA Mangere, Camellia House Inc (Women's Refuge Manurewa), Manukau Rugby Club and Mangere Plunket Clinic. Across 220 retail sites, this represents an initial investment in community- based groups and activities of more than $1 million.

 “Today is a milestone in the unveiling of the new Z brand, but a brand and a logo is the tip of an iceberg. We want Z to be a world-class Kiwi company and we want to be judged upon what we deliver and how we go about it.

 “We reckon customers deserve better than what they’ve had up until now, customers are ready for a change and the feedback we have had from Greenlane in its first week says we are on the right track,” said Mike. 

The other Z pilot stations are: Greenlane and Takanini, Auckland; Shirley and Linwood, Christchurch; Waiouru; Harbour City and Mana, Wellington; Turangi; and Putaruru.

13/06/2011

Z Energy’s Christchurch operations

Z Energy – the New Zealand company that owns and operates the Shell-branded retail network – said that its fuel stock position in the Christchurch region and across the South Island is strong, and there is no need for concern around fuel supply.

There has been some damage to retail operations, but the vast majority of retail sites (19 out of 24) are still operating and more will become available when power is restored and initial inspections complete.

The integrity of the company’s bulk storage tanks at Lyttelton appears intact, with no leakage or visible damage. The terminal was temporarily closed this afternoon and detailed inspections will begin tomorrow.

 Fuel stock positions are strong at the moment in Christchurch, and Z also has bulk tankage at the Port of Timaru and Nelson that can be accessed to supply fuel to Christchurch when required.

 Consumers should not be concerned about fuel supply to the city.

03/06/2011

The first Z for New Zealand

What will become one of the country’s most visible Kiwi brands is now in business, with the first Z service station opened in Greenlane, Auckland this morning by the MP for Maungakiekie, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga.

The decision to replace the Shell logo with a new brand that reflects the local ownership of the business was developed following one of the largest pieces of customer research into what Kiwi consumers want in a locally owned service station.

“Today, a year after Infratil and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund invested $700 million in buying the Shell business, we can now offer our customers a new retail offer under a brand that is all about New Zealand,” said Z CEO Mike Bennetts.

Mike said the most immediate and visible change will be one of the largest rebranding exercises in recent New Zealand history, but changing the colours and the brand is only a part of the story.

“The Z brand will provide a visual point of difference and our customers will know they’re supporting a Kiwi company when they shop with us. More importantly, our new look stores will provide customers with a completely overhauled and significantly improved offer,” Mike said.

With the Z brand we have redesigned our stores and our offer around what people told us they want - we have made a commitment to forecourt service and we will be offering café quality food and coffee.

So what will the first Z customers see and experience?

“People told us that they want to get in, get world-class fuel, good coffee and fresh café- quality food and be on their way quickly. They want dedicated forecourt service to be there for people that want it and they want clean, modern restrooms.

 

“We’ll deliver all of these things under the Z brand and we’re going to support New Zealand businesses along the way – for example our new pies are produced in the Hawke’s Bay, and our cupcakes are made by Laurel Watson in Auckland.”

Mike said that, perhaps above all else, customers wanted Z to contribute to the New Zealand economy and to things that matter in our local communities.

“So, while the profits from the Z business will be kept in New Zealand and go towards meeting the costs of superannuation, we will also be investing directly in the things that matter locally,” he said. 

“With every Z site that we open, we will be donating $5,000 to community organisations, with customers able to vote for four local community organisations. For the Greenlane site, this $5,000 will be allocated, according to customer votes between The Hearing House, the Ranfurly Care Society, the Laura Fergusson Trust, and Plunket Ellerslie. 

Across 220 retail sites, this represents an initial investment in community-based groups and activities of more than $1 million.

“Today is a milestone in the unveiling of the new Z brand, but a brand and a logo is the tip of an iceberg. We want Z to be a world-class Kiwi company and we want to be judged upon what we deliver and how we go about it.

“We reckon customers deserve better than what they’ve had up until now, customers deserve a truly local option and we reckon New Zealand is ready for a change,” said Mike.

The other Z pilot stations are: Skyway and Takanini, Auckland; Shirley and Linwood, Christchurch; Waiouru; Harbour City and Mana, Wellington; Turangi; and Putaruru.

27/05/2011

Waiuku charity votes outcome

Local charities benefit from new Kiwi service station

Z Energy last month invited Waiuku locals to vote for their preferred charity when they filled up at the new $3 million Shell-branded service station, known as Shell Waiuku.

Z donated one cent per litre for all fuel sold at the new site for the first month of operation to four local charities, based on the number of customer votes they received.

The people of Waiuku have really taken to the new site and we received a huge number of votes. As a result, Z will donate a total of over $6,075 to the four Waiuku based charities. The highest number of votes went to Waiuku Volunteer Fire Brigade, closely followed by Waiuku Search & Rescue Association.

Z is the New Zealand company which now owns and operates the retail and distribution assets acquired from Shell. The new service station is the third retail investment that Z has completed since April 2010 and is located on the corner of Kitchener Road and King Street. It features a 100 square metre shop, eight fuel filling stations and a top of the line car wash. The shop layout and food offer contain elements of what’s to come in pilot Z-branded stores, which begins roll-out on 3 June.

Z’s General Manager of Retail, Mark Forsyth, appreciated the support of the Waiuku community and said the opening of Shell Waiuku reinforced Z’s commitment to investing in New Zealand.

“We’re a Kiwi company operated locally and our profits stay right here in New Zealand. What’s more, inviting locals to choose the charities that matter most to them is a reflection of what matters to us – local operations benefiting local people,” he said.

“We really appreciate the support the local community has shown in visiting our site and voting for their preferred charity.”

The service station still currently trades under the Shell brand and sells quality Shell fuels. As with all Shell-branded service stations, the site is operated by locals. In the case of Waiuku, the local operator is Wayne Kennerley.

Charity % of Votes Received
Waiuku Volunteer Fire Brigade 37.5%%
Waiuku Search & Rescue Association  31.8%
Waiuku Family Support 19.2%
Lions Waiuku 11.5%

 

Sheena Thomas

Communications Advisor

04 462 4647

027 551 2589

23/05/2011

The first week of Z Energy and the last year of Greenstone

The annual report produced by Greenstone Energy this week is already a collector’s item.

Just one year after the company was formed as a result of a partnership between the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation and Kiwi company Infratil Limited, who jointly acquired the downstream business of Shell New Zealand, the decision has been made to rebrand the company to one that better reflects its New Zealand ownership and provide a differentiation from the large global companies.

Z Energy is the new name, but it also represents a new offering where the company will strive to deliver what New Zealanders expect and would like from a Kiwi energy distribution company.

Mike Bennetts, CEO of Z Energy, said today: “The book closes on Greenstone Energy, with the distribution of the New Zealand company’s first annual report, and this coincides with completing our first week under our new brand: Z Energy.

“In our first months of operation the key focus was on ensuring: a smooth transition and that the momentum inside the business continued; that customers were looked after; and that our operations ran safely and reliably. The next thing we needed to do was turn our minds to the challenges of creating a stand-alone kiwi company, no longer a mixture of disparate teams operating as a branch office for a global organisation.

“Infratil last week reported earnings of $55m from their share in Greenstone, however, allowing for one offs, this equates to a post tax profit equivalent to 3c a litre.

“We have made no secret of the fact that the returns in this industry are simply not strong enough to encourage or enable sustained investment, and as a result larger global companies are looking to exit the market. Over time the lack of investment will continue to erode supply security and customer choice,” Mike Bennetts said.

Currently our net profit is 2-3c per litre including the convenience store retail margins. By contrast, more than $1 of the pump price currently goes to the Government in taxes and levies.

“We think we can grow our business by providing our customers what they most want in the form of excellent and speedy products and services, by becoming a part of our communities, by bringing back jobs to New Zealanders, and by being open and transparent about the issues.”

Mike Bennetts said that to find out what New Zealanders wanted, Greenstone asked 17,000 New Zealanders what they thought in the largest piece of research conducted in the sector for decades. This research told us “where we need to go with our retail and commercial offers; what being part of the local community really looks like; how to contribute to the national debate on infrastructure; and as a supplier of fossil fuels, the importance of our role in supporting a sustainable energy future.” Mike Bennetts said.

“We can’t deliver it all straight away, but in terms of the service offering and customer experience, Z Energy’s first pilot petrol station opens next week in Greenlane, Auckland. It is a pilot because we will keep listening to feedback, asking our customers what we need to change and how we can do it even better, as we roll out our new customer offers across the country.”

Before the first station has opened, New Zealanders have shown they are interested and keen for something new. Aside from the media interest at the launch, in our first week of Z we had:

  • 16,800 unique visitors on our new z.co.nz website in the first 3 days. More than 6,000 people have looked at our ad or story on YouTube.
  • 429 conversations about Z on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Blogs.
  • 12,321 post views around Z-Energy on Facebook.

Not bad for a brand that is only a week old.

“Our strategy work has shown us that there are plenty of opportunities to shape a better future for our company. New Zealand needs substantial companies that are committed to this country, backed by Kiwis and that will make the investment in resources and infrastructure needed to ensure our country moves forward,” Mike Bennetts said.

-ends-

A copy of the annual report is attached, or go to: http://z.co.nz/about-z/investor-centre/annual-report/

For more information contact:

Sheena Thomas

Communications Advisor

Z Energy Ltd.

04 462 4647

11/05/2011

Z is for New Zealand

The largest piece of consumer research in a decade will result in one of the world’s most prominent brands being replaced in the New Zealand fuel market by something entirely Kiwi.

In April 2010, Shell’s fuel business in New Zealand was sold to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and Kiwi infrastructure company Infratil for NZ$695 million. Greenstone Energy is the company that owns and operates these assets.

“When the Shell business was purchased, we set about trying to understand what consumers actually wanted in a retail fuel company, how they felt about this sector and the companies operating in it,” said Greenstone CEO Mike Bennetts.

“This became the biggest piece of industry-specific consumer research in a decade, touching 17,000 consumers. The insights we’ve gained from listening to our customers and those of our competitors have seen us radically rethink our business.”

Mike Bennetts said the most immediate and visible change would be the largest and most visible rebranding exercise in recent New Zealand history.

“Our customers told us loud and clear that the way we think about ourselves as Kiwis – our national identity - is changing fast. We’ve shifted away from the number 8 wire Kiwi battler stereotypes to a more confident and assured sense of our place in the world.

“The research was overwhelming in reinforcing the desire of New Zealanders to support world class Kiwi companies, celebrate success, and take on the world and win.

“We’re already taking on the world through bringing a major international energy brand into Kiwi ownership to compete against the multinationals and we’ve decided we have a much more compelling story to tell under a distinctly Kiwi brand,” said Mike.

“The desire expressed in the consumer research for a distinctly Kiwi identity has led us, through a lengthy and thorough process, to arrive at our new identity as simply ‘Z’. Z – pronounced ‘Zed’ – is the first letter of the last word of the country to which our business is solely committed.

“The Z brand will provide a visual point of difference and customers will know they’re supporting a Kiwi company. However, consumers have told us while they will support a world-class Kiwi company, being Kiwi alone is not enough. We agree. The new brand represents visually what will be a complete overhaul of our customer offer.

“With the Z brand we will offer cafe quality food and coffee. We will continue to sell world-class fuels and will differentiate ourselves by committing to a level of forecourt service for people that want it, and support New Zealand suppliers where possible. We will also be giving back to communities in which the Z brand is based. The main difference over time, however, will be a Kiwi attitude.”

“We reckon that customers deserve better than what they’ve been getting and we reckon New Zealand is ready for a change,” said Mike.

“With every Kiwi now a shareholder in our business through the ownership of the New Zealand Super Fund, we’re committed to setting a new standard, putting the customer first and working to become a world-class Kiwi company.”

 

18/04/2011

Greenstone partners with national Christchurch earthquake appeal

Customers at Shell-branded service stations across the country will be able to choose to contribute to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal with every purchase from today. 

Greenstone Energy – the New Zealand company which owns and operates the Shell-branded network - has become a national partner of the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.

Greenstone Chief Executive Mike Bennetts said the scale of the Christchurch tragedy required a sustained response.

“We responded in our own way in the immediate aftermath of the quake. As a Kiwi-owned company we also want to use the national reach of our network to continue to support getting Christchurch back on its feet.”

Customers will be able to ask staff to add a $1, $3 or $5 donation to every purchase which will then go directly to the Appeal fund.

Mark Weldon, the Prime Minister’s personal representative on the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, said Greenstone’s response was a welcome support and clear recognition that Christchurch was still in dire need.

“Greenstone recognises that Christchurch is still hurting and the city needs us now more than ever. Winter is on its way, much of the community infrastructure is in ruin, and hardship is starting to hurt. Greenstone has seen that Christchurch is going to continue to need on-going support and is providing New Zealanders a great way to be there with Cantabrians through the hard times as they start putting their communities back together.

“Greenstone is a long-term player in the community, and is continuing to commit to Christchurch and New Zealand. The company’s willingness to step up and work practically and in partnership with the Appeal to make this happen has been tremendous.”

31/03/2011

Greenstone to gift 68 computers to Christchurch community

Greenstone Energy is gifting 68 refurbished laptop computers to worthy recipients in Christchurch, and is inviting applications for the laptops through the company’s Facebook site.

Greenstone is the New Zealand company which acquired Shell’s New Zealand retail and distribution business in April 2010, making Greenstone the country’s largest Kiwi-owned fuel retailer.

Greenstone’s Business Technology and Transformation Manager David Scott said customers had been supportive of a new Kiwi company and Greenstone was committed to giving back to New Zealand communities.

“We’re not what people expect from a traditional fuel company. We’re here to do things differently and we’re here to make a positive contribution to New Zealand.

“As part of upgrading our office systems, we have 68 laptops that we’re making available to Christchurch folk who can put them to good use.”

“All people have to do is go to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/greenstoneenergy and tell us why they need these machines and how they can be used to benefit Christchurch.”

Applications will be judged by Greenstone staff and applications close Tuesday 31 May.

Greenstone has partnered with both Remarkit and Microsoft, which have ensured the computers are ready to use, with up-to-date and licensed software.

David Scott said the initiative was a simple but effective way to contribute to the recovery of the Christchurch community. “We are deeply saddened with what has happened in Christchurch. We’re grateful for the support we’ve been given as a new Kiwi company from the people of Christchurch and wanted to use this as an opportunity to give something back.

“We hope that the people of Christchurch can put these computers to good use for the benefit of the community,” he said. 

01/03/2011

Greenstone exempts Christchurch from fuel price increase

A sharp drop in the Kiwi dollar and increasing crude oil prices were flowing through into New Zealand’s fuel prices but Greenstone Energy, the New Zealand owner of the Shell-branded retail assets, will not pass these costs through to metropolitan Christchurch at this time.

The New Zealand dollar has dropped to around 75 cents against the United States dollar while Brent crude oil has hit a two and a half year high. The combination of these factors has placed immediate, strong pressure on New Zealand fuel prices. 

“We have held off from doing this for as long as we can and we will hold increasing our prices until early this evening when the post work drive rush is over,” said Greenstone Chief Executive Mike Bennetts. 

“The reasons why fuel prices have to increase are very transparent. We can’t sustain this across the country but, as a company owned by New Zealanders, now is simply not the right time to increase fuel prices in Christchurch. 

“Right now, we’re focused on doing what matters for the people of Christchurch, including our own people. 

“Holding prices in metropolitan Christchurch at current levels is the right thing to do for now. Many other companies are considering how best to respond to the needs of the people in Christchurch. We feel this is an appropriate and direct response for us at this point in time in addition to the other contributions that we have been making. 

“We’re committed to making a difference in Christchurch and we’re working hard to support and enable the work of emergency services as well as delivering a constant supply of fuel to residents and local businesses.” 

Mike Bennetts said there may be a time when prices have to also move in Christchurch but the company will hold off for the foreseeable future. 

27/02/2011

Critical fuel infrastructure comes back on line

Greenstone Energy – the New Zealand company that owns and operates the Shell-branded retail network – said vital pieces of Christchurch’s fuel infrastructure had been returned to service over the weekend, further strengthening fuel supplies into the city.

Greenstone Chief Executive Mike Bennetts said over the weekend the Port of Lyttelton and the Port’s terminal pipework had been approved for use and the Torea, which had completed a full fuel discharge at the Port of Timaru, is sailing back to Lyttleton and discharging more fuel into the Lyttelton terminals.

In particular, jet fuel is being discharged from the Torea at Lyttelton today, allowing stock levels of jet fuel at Christchurch Airport to begin to replenish.

“I’m pleased that some of the signs of panic buying we saw last week have begun to subside, enabling us to replenish and build stock levels at our retail sites and resume something closer to normal operations in serving the people of Christchurch.

“I’d like to thank all of our site and terminal staff for doing an outstanding job in managing an incredibly difficult period, the likes of which we have never seen before,” said Mike Bennetts.

“Over the last few days, the industry has made very good progress bringing supplies of fuel into Christchurch and restoring critical fuel infrastructure. Using Greenstone’s Timaru terminal from which to truck fuel into Christchurch provided a valuable back-up and deliveries continue to be made from this terminal, as well as direct from Lyttelton and Woolston.”

Mike Bennetts said the clearance to use the Port of Lyttelton for deliveries over the weekend was a very positive development.

“There will be additional deliveries of all grades of fuel directly into Lyttelton over the coming days.” 

By Sunday afternoon, 15 of Greenstone’s retail sites and all six of the company’s truckstops are open. Truckstops are holding good stock levels and are being frequently replenished. The company expects to open more retail sites next week, when power supply is restored and the necessary safety checks have been completed. 

Operational retail sites and truckstops (subject to change and supplies)

  • Belfast, Templeton, Carmen Road, Kaiapoi, Curletts Road, Southbrook, Raceway, Bryndwyr, Yaldhurst, Burnside, Bishopdale, Darfield, Brougham, Ferry Road, Cashmere, Amberley
  • Truckstops: Hornby, Templeton, Southbrook, Amberley, Sawyers Arms, Port Hills.

 

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