Customer Stories

MainPower New Zealand LTD

OnBoard empowers Electricity Distribution Network to manage board, company more efficiently

MainPower New Zealand
MainPower logo


Industry: Energy/Electric Utilities

Headquarters: Christchurch, South Island

Board Management Goals

  • Improve efficiency, hands-on control
  • Lead transition to digital
  • Have a secure, accessible source of truth


  • 30-35% more efficient
  • 100% positive board participation
  • Everything now available in one, secure place

Putting ‘Management’ Back in Board Management Software

MainPower New Zealand Ltd., an Electricity Distribution Network, is a trust-owned New Zealand company that has served the electricity needs of North Canterbury homes and businesses for nearly a century.

Its six-member Board of Directors and Chief Executive meet monthly to oversee MainPower’s activities. According to Maria O’Neill, Board Secretary and Executive Assistant for the Chief Executive, the company is focused on a digital transformation — using technology to reduce paperwork and reliance on manual processes. O’Neill says OnBoard is pivotal to making that happen. “We’re moving everything online,” she says. “It is the nature of the business.”

Before adopting OnBoard in 2020, MainPower was using another board management product that provided sufficient functionality but was not as user-friendly. She sought help from the product’s support team to execute everyday tasks — such as creating new user groups or adding members. “While the vendor provided a speedy response to requests, those are tasks I’d like to do myself,” she says. “As administrator, I didn’t have as many rights as I would have liked.” O’Neill says she realized she made a good decision with OnBoard — particularly when performing simple administrative tasks such as adding another user to the software.

“OnBoard is straightforward and easy to use, compared to our previous board management software. It was really reasonably priced and definitely more value for the money.”

- Maria O’Neill
Board Secretary and Executive Assistant for the Chief Executive,
MainPower New Zealand LTD


OnBoard Offers a Wealth of Benefits

O’Neill conducted extensive research on board management products and found that OnBoard delivered the best value. “Basically, I had to do a business case and a product comparison, weighing products based on functionality, cost, ease of use, and access,” she says.

Besides the favourable price, OnBoard’s functionality immediately stood out. “The functionality that I could get — and the amount of administrative control I had over the program — were the most important aspects for me, aside from price.”

Looking to accommodate future scaling, O’Neill paid attention to OnBoard’s out-of-the-box features, but with an eye toward additional capabilities they could add later. She didn’t want to pay for something they weren’t going to use yet, but wanted to know there was room to grow with the software.

OnBoard’s ability to meet her company’s IT security standards was also critical, and while OnBoard support was originally UK-based, the addition of Australian-based customer support has been helpful and convenient.

Other OnBoard advantages became evident as well. “The minutes builder works well,” O’Neill says, “with participants being able to access, comment and approve minutes online. At the time I was vetting board management solutions, I didn’t have this functionality.”

“We get quite a lot of functionality for the cost. We get really good value for the money from OnBoard.”


Increased Board Efficiency and Simplified Compliance

O’Neill says everyone on the Board of Directors and Executive Team use OnBoard, and feedback has been positive. “Once they started using it, they found it easy to navigate and quite speedy. They liked the functionality, especially being able to share annotations and messages within OnBoard.”

O’Neill estimates that OnBoard has brought a 30-35% efficiency gain, and cites the platform’s resources section as a major contributing factor — especially when onboarding new board members.

“A new director coming in can look through the foundation documents and a lot of our business and strategic plans and get a feel for the company,” she says. “We have a lot of background information there, plus all the previous committee and board meetings and papers.”

Having all board documentation stored in one secure location helps to both maintain transparency and facilitate oversight. “We get quite a lot of functionality for the cost,” O’Neill says. “We get really good value for the money from OnBoard.”

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