2014 conference agenda

Downstream 2014 Agenda PDF Download



5 MARCH 2014

Day One facilitator

John Small, Director, Covec


Registration - Coffee & Tea - Exhibition opens


Conference opening: Welcome from the Day One facilitator

John Small, Director, Covec


Debate on NZ Power

2014 is election year and time to think about whether the Labour-Green NZ Power proposal could work.

  • Is the electricity market up for major reform again?
  • What are the merits of the NZ Power proposal?
  • Can we achieve the same desired outcome with a stronger focus on retail competition?

Dr Russel Norman, Co-Leader, Green Party
David Parker, Deputy Leader, Labour Party
Doug Heffernan, Chief Executive, Mighty River Power
Hon David Butcher, Manager, David Butcher and Associates

Facilitator:  Bill Heaps, Managing Director, Strata Energy Consulting


LEADERS’ PANEL: Meeting consumers’ needs today and in the future

  • Are transmission and distribution price hikes hurting the image of retailers?
  • Future generation capacity and position
  • What are we doing well and where do we need to improve?

Babu Bahirathan, Chief Executive, Nova Energy
Sue Chetwin, Chief Executive, Consumer NZ
Ken Sutherland, Chief Executive, Unison
Mike Underhill, Chief Executive, EECA
Vince Hawksworth, Chief Executive, TrustPower

Facilitator:  John Hancock, Management Consultant - Utilities Industry, Signature Consulting



Hon Steven Joyce, Minister of Economic Development


Morning Tea


Macro gas market issues

Exploration effort in Taranaki continues to improve New Zealand’s gas position as we transition into the post-Maui era. However, the ‘shale gale’ that is blowing through international oil and gas markets could have implications for New Zealand’s future exploration activity, as could the fact that New Zealand’s major swing consumer, Methanex, is operating at close to full capacity.

  • International oil and gas market developments – shale & unconventional impacts, and LNG
  • The outlook for the key swing consumer sectors – Methanex and power generation
  • The outlook for industrial, commercial, and residential demand
  • Exploration activity – within and outside Taranaki
  • What this all may mean for New Zealand’s future gas position

Simon Coates, Director, Concept Consulting


INTERNATIONAL INSIGHT: Emerging trends and market structures

  • New developments and current trends in the US and other key global electricity markets
  • What is working and what isn’t? What does this mean for NZ?
  • Market structures, hedging instruments and investor incentives

Lawrence Jones, Vice President, Utility Innovations & Infrastructure Resilience, Alstom Grid
Andrew Ott, Executive Vice President - Markets, PJM Interconnection




Competition in the market? Small retailers profile 10-10-10

A 10-minute introduction from three of the country’s small electricity retailers. Each chief executive will have ten minutes to provide a quick profile of their operation and answer the following questions:

  • Is there a platform for small retailers to grow and prosper in New Zealand?
  • What are their key challenges in the next two years?
  • What reforms would they suggest?

Gary Holden, Chief Executive, Pulse Energy 
Fraser Jonker, Chief Executive, Pioneer Generation
Simon Young, Director, Opunake Hydro


PANEL DISCUSSION: Declining power loads and the industrial outlook

With the exception of South Canterbury, major electricity demand around New Zealand is down and declining. Large tranches of load such as Tiwai Point could drop off and there are no plans for new energy-intensive industrial expansion.

  • Major power loads – what is happening at the major pulp and paper mills?
  • The Tiwai factor
  • Dairying expansion in South Canterbury and elsewhere
  • New energy-intensive opportunities - data centres, fertiliser manufacture, smelting, pulp and paper
  • Large scale renewable biomass projects and geothermal

John Carnegie, Manager Energy, Environment & Infrastructure, BusinessNZ
Ewan Gebbie, Executive Officer, EMANZ
Andrew Tombs, Chief Executive, Alpine Energy
Mike Fuge, Chief Operating Officer, Genesis Energy

Facilitator:  John Small, Director, Covec


Afternoon tea


KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Transport fuels in New Zealand – the next chapter

Fascinating changes are underway in the mid- and down-stream fuels market both in New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region. Refineries are closing in Australia and traditional distribution models are being challenged.

  • Infrastructure requirements
  • Update on sector returns
  • Geo-political influences and the current price of fuel in New Zealand
  • Marsden Point – the next decade

Sjoerd Post, Chief Executive Officer, Refining NZ


Building for the 21st Century: The challenge, the opportunity, the future

Steven will look at what sort of society New Zealand will need to be to best tackle an unpredictable future. He will expose leading edge thinking on innovation, creativity and game-changing capabilities. Hear how companies look across sectors and at the fringes of their own industry to find out what they don’t know. Explore how to operate by different rules in order to transform your organisation.

Steven Carden, Author of NZ Unleashed


Close and networking drinks



Come and share in the gala dinner with your industry colleagues. Enjoy the fine wine, food, and superb networking.


06 MARCH 2014

Day Two facilitator

Jonathan KayDirector, Lone Wolf Enterprises


Welcome from the Day Two facilitator

Jonathan Kay, Director, Lone Wolf Enterprises



Christoph will provide a global energy perspective based on the 2013 Energy Trilemma Report, and World Energy Issues Monitor 2014. The release of the information the WEC has been working on with the BusinessNZ Energy Council on New Zealand’s energy issues map will draw important linkages and lessons from the global to the local perspective.

Dr Christoph Frei, Secretary General, World Energy Council


PANEL DISCUSSION: Energy poverty: let’s not wait

Household energy costs continue to rise across all the major fuels – petrol, diesel, gas and electricity. The issue has become political and the industry could face regulation and reform if it doesn’t act.

Many of the previous `fixes’ (like the low-user regime) have failed and it’s now time to debate a socially and economically efficient regime to deal with this issue.

Should the Government be intervening in the market and setting prices or subsidising,  or should it be intervening by way of social policy/welfare? 

  • Options for education in energy efficiency
  • Fuel by fuel breakdown in terms of impact on poverty
  • Overseas experience
  • Actions the industry should take

Christoph Frei, Secretary General, World Energy Council
Ian McChesney, Co-Founder, Community Energy Action
Nick Robinson, General Manager, Customer Insight, Marketing and Communications, Contact Energy
Gareth Wilson, Principal Advisor, Energy Markets Policy, MBIE

Facilitator:  Kay Saville-Smith, Research Director, CRESA


Morning tea


FOUNDATION PARTNER ADDRESS: Keeping the energy flowing - the new CEO’s perspective

Alison Andrew, Chief Executive, Transpower


Smart meter stocktake

New Zealand’s advanced meter story is now over six years old and we have many installed around the country. In some cases households will have already had at least one change in technology. Are features such as demand lopping and price signalling being used? Are we still lacking the sorts of plans that will entice residential consumers to change behaviour? This session provides a geospatial overview of smart meter deployments throughout New Zealand reviewing installations by:

  • Ownership
  • Geographic region
  • Technology
  • Functionality and solutions
  • Domestic vs. industrial/commercial installations

Rogan Clarke, General Manager, AMS


FOUNDATION PARTNER ADDRESS: Initiatives to enhance retail market competition

Carl will discuss the Authority’s view about competition in the retail electricity market, looking at whether concerns about competition reflect poor perceptions or poor performance. The presentation will provide an overview of the initiatives the Authority has underway to address these issues.

Carl Hansen, Chief Executive, Electricity Authority




FOUNDATION PARTNER ADDRESS: The next regulatory control period and work programme update

2014 will see preparations for the next price reset for electricity distribution businesses and also Transpower’s transmission pricing reset. Hear from the regulator on preparations it has been making in this important area.

  • Planned changes from the 2012 reset and learnings from various working groups
  • Learnings from the first CPP with Orion and obligations around consumer consultation
  • Impacts for gas distribution businesses around CPPs
  • Overall work programme update for electricity and gas

Nick Russ, Chief Adviser - Regulation Branch, Commerce Commission


PANEL REPLY: To the Commerce Commission address

Julian Elder, former Chief Executive, WEL Networks
Richard Fletcher, Regulation and Government Relations General Manager, Powerco
John Hamill, General Manager – Regulations, Commerce Commission
Ralph Matthes, Executive Director, Major Electricity Users' Group
Nathan Strong, General Manager - Business Assurance,Unison Networks

Facilitator:  Lynne Taylor, Director, PWC


Afternoon tea


PANEL DISCUSSION: Spot gas market: importance of a wholesale gas market to the wider gas industry

Downstream 2014 will see a review of the new gas spot markets, and indeed whether we now actually have one or two markets. Discussion will include:

  • Impact of new natural gas spot market(s) on:
    • Wholesale portfolio (price and volume) risk management
    • Downstream (retail) competition
  • The role of regulatory oversight to support market reforms
  • Where to next?
    • ​How do we further evolve and modernise the gas industry
    • Challenges facing further market enhancements
    • Insights from overseas gas markets
    • Role of a gas futures market

Steve Bielby, Chief Executive, Gas Industry Company
Nick McDougall, Commercial Executive, OMV New Zealand
James Whistler, Business Development Manager, EMS

Facilitator:  Christine Southey, Consultant, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts


ANNOUNCEMENT: The Smart Grid Roadmap 

Toby will present the release of his Urban Development Smart Grid Roadmap. This report promises to lay down a recommendation for a national approach for the formation of a smart grid by a coalition of the willing. The project has been funded by APEC and EECA with a steering group of key stakeholders

Toby Stevenson, Director, Sapere Research Group


Review of privatisation

Dr Phillip Anderson will provide a professional investor review of the Mighty River Power and Meridian mixed ownership model outcomes.

Phillip Anderson, Equity Analyst, Devon Funds Management


Conference close