In 2011 the generation, distribution and selling of electricity were handled by different companies, some of which were state-owned enterprises. Transpower, a state-owned enterprise, was responsible for the national grid and electrical transmission through it. Contact Energy had been split off from the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ) in 1996 and sold in 1999. That same year the rest of ECNZ was split into three state-owned enterprises – Genesis Energy, Mighty River Power and Meridian Energy. ECNZ was originally created in 1986 as the largest of the state-owned enterprises.
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