Customer Stories

Opuha Water Ltd.

Water and electric cooperative finds simplicity, efficiency and security with OnBoard 

Water Company
Opuha Water LTD White

Industry: Utilities – Water/Electricity

Headquarters: South Canterbury, New Zealand

Board Management Goals

  • Increase ease of use
  • Improve efficiency, time savings
  • A secure, single hub for information 


  • Easy user interface
  • Up to 60% more efficiency with potential for more
  • Everything now available in one secure place 

Addressing the greater need for consistency and security

The Opuha Water Ltd. cooperative has managed water in the South Canterbury community since local farmers took ownership in 2007, nearly 10 years after the Opuha dam officially opened in 1998.

Owned by approximately 240 farmer irrigators, the company works to ensure the sustainability of the community’s lake water source. This source feeds local rivers, providing water to maintain environmental flows in the downstream catchment and for irrigation as well as urban and industrial supplies. Renewable hydro-electricity is generated with all the water released from the dam.

The cooperative’s Board of Directors is responsible for the governance and leadership of Opuha Water. Its seven members plus one associate director meet monthly. Aimee Bennett, the cooperative’s commercial manager, serves as board secretary, and had relied on the company intranet to manage board business.

However, the management team realised the need for better organisation, more consistency in board documentation, and greater online security.

After researching board management solutions, Bennett saw OnBoard as the obvious choice. The board approved a 12-month trial subscription in spring 2021. “I recommended OnBoard because of the range of features it offered, as well as the system’s presentation and ease of use at both an administrator and end user level,” she states. “Those were my two main points. The system capturing all board business and the ease of being able to work with it was the selling point compared to some of the others I tried.”

“OnBoard’s functionality, with the ability to be able to manage all governance matters within one system, is extremely valuable. You can’t really put a price on that when it comes to such time savings and board management.”

— Aimee Bennett, Commercial Manager and Board Secretary


Introducing a new world of ease and simplicity

“Before OnBoard,” Bennett recalls, “the cooperative tried a dedicated document storage site which board members accessed through the company website. However, this was limited to document storage and invited security concerns. The cooperative then tried Office 365, which improved security, but did not facilitate or record meetings.” And once again, it only provided document storage.

“The board pack would be in SharePoint, the agenda would be in an email, and the minutes would be in a different email,” Bennett says. “Now, with OnBoard, it is all in one place.” That makes for more efficient and productive meetings.

OnBoard removed the reliance on insecure emails, replacing them with one centralised, secure document repository. Per Bennett, “Security—once a major concern—has now been thoroughly addressed.”

Greater collaboration... with potential for more

Bennett found the OnBoard implementation seamless—from demo to trial to going live with the software. “I had already loaded the previous six months’ worth of meetings and minutes and years’ worth of other other governance related documents by the go-live date,” she recalls. That helped make the benefits of OnBoard immediately apparent.

“OnBoard definitely makes it easier to communicate and get information to the board and store the meeting history. If board members hear a director referring to something, they don’t have to ask, ‘Can you send me a copy of that?’ I think that collaborative side of OnBoard is definitely a winner for our CEO and the wider management team.”

”Bennett estimates that using OnBoard results in 50-60% time savings. “And we could potentially see more savings if we better align our processes to take full advantage of OnBoard capabilities,” she says.

“The board pack would be in SharePoint, the agenda would be in an email, and the minutes would be in a different email,” Bennett says. “Now, with OnBoard, it is all in one place.”

— Aimee Bennett, Commercial Manager and Board Secretary


OnBoard’s exceptional service means nothing is ‘left outstanding’

Australia-based customer support helps Bennett promptly address any issues that might arise. “To date, they have always responded within the same working day,” she says. “Even if the representative has to check something with another colleague or the technical team, he always gets back to me. Nothing is left outstanding.”

Bennett believes that boards like Opuha’s might have a lot to gain from OnBoard. “It is extremely user-friendly. And while processes will differ from one board to the next,” she says, “OnBoard will probably support anything they want to do. It’s all in there.”

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