Whanganui Gas Company Ltd was formed as a private enterprise company in 1879 and the business was subsequently acquired by the then Whanganui Borough Council in 1902.
Manufactured gas sales rose from 30 TJ (terajoules) in 1902 and peaked at 62 TJ in the early 1960s, before declining to 55 TJ in 1969, the last year of manufactured gas supply. Sales volumes rose 20-fold after the introduction of natural gas in 1970 to typical volumes nowadays reaching around 1,000 TJ.
In 1990 the Whanganui District Council changed its gas utility management structure establishing a semi-autonomous entity called Whanganui Gas in anticipation of a Government requirement for local authorities to form their energy trading operations into companies. In March 1992 the Council bought out the other shareholder in the Westgas Corporation (which had constructed, owned and operated the Marton, Bulls-Lake Alice and Flockhouse networks) and incorporated that business into Whanganui Gas.
Whanganui Gas continued to operate as a Council department until it was formed into a public limited liability company in December 1992, with Council and external director representation. At the same time Whanganui District Council agreed to sell a 25.1% shareholding in Whanganui Gas Limited to the Natural Gas Corporation.
On 1 July 2000, the trading entity GasNet was formed, the independent trading division of Whanganui Gas Limited, responsible for the safe and reliable operation of the Company’s gas distribution systems.
On 30 June 2002 the Whanganui District Council transferred its shareholding in Whanganui Gas Limited to its wholly owned company Whanganui District Council Holdings Limited and on 30 October 2006, the Holdings Company purchased Vector Limited’s 25.1% shareholding resulting in Whanganui Gas Limited being wholly owned by the Holdings Company.