Lloyd Mandeno was born at Rangioawhia in 1888, the son of local farmers. After completing an Electrical Engineering degree at Canterbury College in 1905 he became a passionate advocate of hydro electricity and promoted the use of electricity from the Omanawa Falls power station. He built the first home in New Zealand to have all its energy needs met from public electricity supply. Mandeno also invented the ‘single wire’ earth return system which made it economical to supply power to sparsely populated areas.
His inventive skills were not confined to electrical work. He invented portable moulds to cast concrete poles on site. Mr Mandeno also laid a submarine cable, one of the first in the country. He set up the first electrically powered sawmill and milking shed in the North island and provided the power for the Chateau Tongariro and the ski lifts.
He was awarded an OBE in 1965 and passed away on December 30, 1973.