Programme 2022: Day One

Click on each day to view the full programme:
Tuesday 29 March 2022 Wednesday 30 March 2022
Conference Day One Conference Day Two


2022 brochure available to download, just click here.

Programme | Day One 




Registration and coffee in the Downstream Expo



Invite only Breakfast

Sponsored by Jacobs



Mihi Whakatau



Welcome from the Day One Chair

Angela Ogier Associate Director | Infrastructure Advisory, EY


Views from the top




Leaders' panel

In the past 12 months the sector has once again faced some significant challenges and surprises, including the normalisation of operations under shifting Covid-19 alert levels. With tightening gas supply, wholesale electricity price volatility, pending regulatory change, grid-scale solar projects and NZ Battery developments, it’s been a wild ride. Join our cohort of leaders as we kōrero on how to accelerate decarbonisation, secure talent, maintain sector well-being and keep customer needs front of mind.

Alison Andrew – Chief Executive, Transpower
Marc England – Chief Executive, Genesis
Neal Barclay – Chief Executive, Meridian

Toby Stevenson – Director, Sapere Research Group 


Market design



NEW PERSPECTIVES | Exploring market design differences between New Zealand and Australia 

Comparing the New Zealand Energy Market (NZEM) and Australia's National Energy  Market (NEM) can be beneficial as we work towards a net zero economy. Reviewing  and comparing the pros and cons of the NZEM and NEM provides an opportunity to  understand different approaches and analyse whether there are elements  that would benefit us here in New Zealand.  

  • Exploring differences in governance  
  • Understanding each market’s carbon reduction policy mechanisms  
  • Implications of reducing our reliance on thermal generation  
  • Matching real time and forward contract needs of consumers and generators 
  • Managing congestion 
  • Network cost recovery 

Greg Williams – Senior Economist, Australian Energy Markets Commission (AEMC) 



Morning break & networking within the Downstream Expo

Scheduled meetings using the Downstream App



Price discovery project update

The Electricity Authority’s Market Development Advisory Group (MDAG) has commenced a project investigating how the wholesale electricity market might operate (including price discovery and new investment) under a 100% renewable electricity supply. Projections suggest that new renewable generation will need to be built at a rate materially faster than the industry achieved over the market’s first 15 years. MDAG’s project is looking at several important questions that are critical to effective investment in generation and operation of the market, given the expected increase in electricity demand and retirement of fossil-fuelled thermal generation.

Electricity Authority



Flux Federation presentation

Sponsored by

Jessica Venning-Bryan – Chief Client Officer, Flux Federation





Future regulations and their collective influence

An array of regulations and initiatives are currently being rolled out that affect the energy sector. How will all the individual acts and directives fit together and will they collectively enable or hinder efforts to decarbonise the energy sector? And are you ready for the effects of the updated or new RMA, NBA, ETS, TPM, EPR projects, mandatory climate change risk disclosure legislation the New Zealand Battery project and… 
Catherine SoperGM Government and Regulatory Affairs, Acting GM Sustainability, Genesis 



Lunch and networking within the Downstream Expo

Scheduled meetings using the Downstream App

Sponsored by  EDMI


Improving outcomes



NEW PERSPECTIVES | Open data benefits for New Zealand's payments system 

Data does not flow easily between different organisations in the energy sector. A functioning, open data ecosystem would enable the sector, policy makers and other institutions to make decisions that are timely, effective and accelerate the transition to net zero. Payments NZ have set up an API centre that has developed standards which allow for safe access and sharing of data. How was this open data sharing achieved, what hurdles were overcome to protect the information and what opportunities have arisen? 

Steve WigginsChief Executive, Payments NZ 



PANEL DISCUSSION | Providing energy for our population’s needs: A focus on energy and consumer hardship

The transition towards a lower emissions economy has the potential to increase the energy poverty gap. It is essential that through this transition, energy hardship is prioritised in decision making and services are delivered in a way responsive to the populations needs. Addressing energy hardship requires joined-up action across industry, regulators, and government and as the sector transitions towards lower emissions, it is important that those experiencing energy hardship have fair and reasonable access to energy. 

Deborah HartChair, Consumer Advocacy Council 
Ruth SmithersChief Executive, FINCAP
Miranda StruthersAccessible Energy Advocate, ERANZ 

Tracey HickmanChief Customer Officer, Genesis



Mercury rising

In a bold move, Mercury agreed to buy Trustpower’s retail business in March 2021 for $441 million, leaving Trustpower to focus on building its generation business. The acquisition will accelerate Mercury’s retail strategy centred on delivering the right product mix and value for customers. Mercury is retaining the Trustpower brand with its complementary products. Find out what’s driving this customer focus and the objectives longer term.

Vince Hawksworth – Chief Executive, Mercury



Afternoon break & networking within the Downstream Expo

Scheduled meetings using the Downstream App





Multiple trader relationships – Ara Ake 

Ara Ake is the nation’s new energy development centre located in Taranaki, with a  purpose of enabling energy innovation to become commercially viable in Aotearoa New Zealand. At the Downstream Conference, Ara Ake will be discussing their world-first Multiple Trading Relationships pilot, which offers individuals and businesses more choice and flexibility when it comes to managing their electricity.

Cristiano Marantes – Chief Executive, Ara Ake  



Grid-scale solar – Lodestone Energy (awaiting confirmation)

Newcomer Lodestone Energy will roll out 229 MW of utility-scale solar capacity in the upper North Island during the next four years, in what is easily the country’s biggest-ever solar project. What will this mean for the market, how do the economics stack up and who are the winners? 

Gary Holden – Managing Director, Lodestone Energy  



Session to be confirmed



Closing remarks from the Chair



Networking Drinks within the Downstream Expo

Sponsored by Transpower



Dinner |  Future energy – empowering tomorrow’s leaders

Join the sector for a relaxing dinner at the end of day one and hear from young energy sector executives for a candid discussion on workforce attraction, retention and career pathways.

The energy sector has in the past been criticised for not embracing youth and diversity as it gears up for a new normal. Let’s take stock from youth leaders from our five largest customer-facing energy companies to see how we are faring. We won’t be afraid of some awkward conversations:

  • Embracing and encouraging youth within the sector
  • Diversity in the workplace
  • Is the sector adequately competing for youth talent?
  • How important is ESG?
  • What does a young professional expect in the workplace? 

Elliott Powell – Fuels Optimisation Lead, Genesis
Blake Cheesman – Hydro Technician, Trustpower
Rachael Martis – Manager – Group Energy Margin, Mercury
Emma Arendse –  Renewable Energy Engineer, Meridian

Under invitation to participate in the discussion: Hon Dr Megan Woods – Minister of Energy and Resources

In collaboration with