Our 2022 speakers are:

Angela Ogier

Associate Director | Infrastructure Advisory

Angela is an Associate Director in EY’s Infrastructure Advisory practice leading studies on hydrogen and decarbonisation of energy systems.  Angela’s 20-year career spans the economic assessment, strategic planning, commercial delivery and negotiation of energy projects in New Zealand, France, Nigeria, the UK and Australia.

Brigid McArthur

Greenwood Roche

Brigid is a highly regarded senior corporate/commercial lawyer, working across many sectors of the economy and government. With over 30 years’ experience, Brigid’s corporate and commercial practice is very broad.

Ben Irons

Co-Founder, Managing Director
Habitat Energy 

Ben is a co-founder and Director of Habitat Energy, a trading and optimisation services provider for grid-scale battery storage in the UK, Australia and the US. Habitat Energy uses machine learning techniques to deliver a fully algorithmic forecasting and trading capability and currently optimises over 200MW of storage assets. It has been ranked the number 1 performer in the UK market over the last 12 months. Ben grew up in Palmerston North, completing a B.Tech at Massey University and then spending more than 20 years based in the UK.

Emma Arendse

Renewable Energy Engineer

Emma is a mechanical engineer who has had the privilege of working for Meridian for the past 3 years. During the graduate programme, she worked as a tactical engineer and strategical engineer in the hydro space. This gave her the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of New Zealand's largest assets and alongside some of the most experienced people in the industry. She now works in the Renewable Development team, helping seek out Meridian’s future assets and growing the generation portfolio.

Ruth Smithers

Chief Executive

Ruth is an experienced leader and senior manager in the not for profit and government sectors in health and social services organisations. Her most recent role was as Deputy Chief Executive at Tui Ora, a large iwi-based health and social services provider in Taranaki where she worked for more than five years. She has run her own management consultancy company over many years between permanent roles and serves on a number of boards.

Henrik Mosser

General Manager
OMV New Zealand

Mosser is an industry veteran with nearly 30 years’ experience in the energy sector. He joined OMV in 2014 as asset manager, a position he has held in several different countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

Prior to his current role as General Manager, he was VP EDP and before that, he was director of the domestic assets business unit for OMV Petrom in Romania.


Chris Blenkiron

Chief Executive and General Manager
New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter (NZAS)

Chris has recently been appointed as Chief Executive of New Zealand Aluminium Smelters.  Prior to this, Chris has spent the last five years with BlueScope, the parent company of NZ Steel working both in NZ and most recently leading their Indonesia business.  Chris has operated in energy intensive manufacturing facilities across Australia, SEA and NZ for the last 15 years.


Jason Dale

Chief Commercial and Financial Officer for NZ Steel, and GM BlueScope Pacific Islands
New Zealand Steel

Jason Dale is currently Chief Commercial and Financial Officer for NZ Steel, and GM BlueScope Pacific Islands and has the energy management team reporting to him.  He was held CFO roles across NZX, ASX listed entities including PGG Wrightsons, EROAD, Auckland Airport and unlisted businesses such as Sealord and Fonterra Ingredients.  Mr Dale is currently the Chairman for Crest Clean and is an Independent Director and Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee for Ravensdown.


Geoff Swier


Geoff Swier is an economist with over 30 years’ experience in reform, policy development, regulation and operation in the electricity, gas, water and transport industries in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, and was a founding director of farrierswier. Geoff has provided policy and regulatory advice in the energy and water industries in most states of Australia, and in New Zealand.  He is regularly appointed as a member of dispute resolution panels and provides expert testimony.

Dr Cristiano Marantes

Chief Executive
Ara Ake

Dr Cristiano Marantes is the Chief Executive of Ara Ake, a role he started in September 2020. Cristiano is a highly experienced energy sector executive with an extensive engineering background and an informed worldview on the potential of technologies and business opportunities that will likely emerge in a low emissions energy future. He has a life-long passion for enabling this future, through strong leadership, innovation and knowledge of new low emissions energy solutions.


Jessica Venning-Bryan

Chief Client Officer
Flux Federation

Jessica Venning-Bryan has spent two decades advising organisations within New Zealand and internationally. From energy retail start ups and award winning brands, through to her current role as Chief Customer Officer at Flux Federation. Flux is a software company driving the energy sector with innovative solutions for a complex and changing industry. Jess is known for bringing a customer centric mindset to the Flux team along with in depth energy experience, and technology-marketing prowess.

Miranda Struthers

Accessible Energy Advocate
Electricity Retailers’ Association (ERANZ)

Miranda joined the electricity industry in October 2018, following 5 years working at an energy-efficiency NGO. Miranda’s focus in the electricity sector is delivering energy hardship reduction initiatives. She supports ERANZ members to drive for improvements in consumer care, is programme manager of the EnergyMate initiative and chairs the Consumer Care Working Group.


Steve Wiggins

Chief Executive
Payments NZ

As Chief Executive of Payments NZ and the Payments NZ API Centre™, Steve is responsible for ensuring the New Zealand payments industry remains innovative, progressive, interoperable and self-governing. He came to the role with extensive experience in senior executive roles through a career spanning more than three decades in industries as diverse as finance, energy, and consultancy services.

Catherine Soper

GM Government and Regulatory Affairs, Acting GM Sustainability

Catherine is the GM Government and Regulatory Affairs, and Acting GM Sustainability at Genesis, one of NZ’s largest energy companies. This senior role within the company sees her lead work traversing regulatory change in a decarbonising economy, providing advice and analysis on sustainability, innovation and technological change, the Just Transition, energy hardship and security of supply. Her 17 year career across both the public and private sectors has had a strong focus on policy and regulated industries including roles at MBIE, DPMC, Parliament, Vodafone and Air New Zealand.

Greg Williams

Senior Economist
Australian Energy Markets Commission (AEMC)

Greg is a senior economist working in the AEMC, with over 20 years working on electricity market design and rules, from network and wholesale market pricing, to system operation and ancillary services. Being a Kiwi, most of those years have been spent working in and on the electricity market in New Zealand/Aotearoa, where he led high profile projects such as scarcity pricing, the national market for reserve, and real time pricing.

Neal Barclay

Chief Executive

Neal was appointed as Meridian Chief Executive in January 2018. Neal joined Meridian in 2008 as their Chief Financial Officer. He them moved into the position of General Manager Markets and Production where he was responsible for generation asset management and wholesale trading. Neal held this position until April 2016 when he was appointed General Manager Retail, responsible for Meridian and Powershop New Zealand's customer sales, service and operations.

John Kidd

Director, Head of Research

John is the Director of Enerlytica and a former Director of Equity Research at Woodward Partners. John was previously Head of Research - Asia Pacific at Edison Investment Research, and Head of Research at specialist sharebroking and investment banking firm McDouall Stuart. John has over 15 years of analytical and consulting experience in the energy sector, including four years at Shell's global head office in London where he worked on the development of new E&P, gas and petrochemical business ventures across the Shell Group. John's work has taken him to more than 20 countries.

Marc England

Chief Executive
Genesis Energy

Marc joined Genesis in May 2016. He is responsible for the leadership, strategic direction and management of all its business interests. Prior to joining Genesis, Marc was Executive General Manager New Energy at AGL Energy in Australia and also previously held the role of Group Head of Strategy there. Marc has 12 years’ experience in the sector across three markets having also worked at British Gas, a subsidiary of Centrica Plc, in the UK from 2007.

Vince Hawksworth

Chief Executive

Vince joined Mercury in March 2020. Vince has considerable experience in the energy sector in both New Zealand and Australia. Most recently he was Chief Executive at generator/retailer Trustpower and prior to that, Chief Executive of Hydro Tasmania. Vince qualified as a Mining Engineer, working in UK coal mines and has an MBA from the University of Waikato. Vince commenced his career in the New Zealand energy sector at the Huntly power station and led both the generation and retail divisions at Genesis Energy.

Toby Stevenson

Consulting Director
Sapere Research Group

Toby is a Consulting Director with international economics consulting firm Sapere Research Group. His expert area is electricity trading and risk management and he established himself as an independent energy consultant in 2004. Toby was the General Manager Electricity Trading at Contact Energy from its inception in 1996 to 2003 and has held a number of industry governance positions.


Tracey Hickman

Chief Customer Officer

Tracey Hickman joined the Genesis Executive Team in 2012 as General Manager Generation. In 2019, she took on a new portfolio as Executive General Manager Retail Operations. Prior to her current role, Tracey led Genesis’ Generation, Wholesale and Fuels portfolio businesses as Executive General Manager. On 1 September, 2020, Tracey takes up the role of Chief Customer Officer. Tracey is accountable for the Genesis Retail brand, LPG operations and a range of retail support functions for the whole business.

James Kilty

Chief Executive

James joined Powerco in 2021. He has over 20 years’ experience in the energy industry behind him. Prior to joining Powerco he was Deputy Chief Executive of Contact Energy. In addition to his Deputy CEO responsibilities, James’ role included specific responsibility for development and demand growth, helping to drive the decarbonisation of New Zealand’s economy.  James was a Director of Simply Energy, a commercial and industrial decarbonisation services business, and the Chair of Western Energy Services, an innovative geothermal resource and well services business.

Gary Holden

Chief Executive Officer
Lodestone Energy

Gary is a thoroughly experienced energy sector executive, holding roles across New Zealand and Canada for more than three decades. He is formally trained in mechanical engineering and economics, and has extensive energy experience spanning mass market retail, generation, renewable energy and infrastructure. Gary’s most recent role prior to Lodestone was CEO of the Pulse Energy Alliance LP, a privately held energy retailing company operating throughout New Zealand. Pulse sells retail electricity, gas, broadband and petrol to small commercial and residential customers throughout NZ.

Linda Mulvihill

Head of Energy & Climate

Linda Mulvihill is the Head of Energy & Climate in Fonterra’s Global Sustainability team.  Linda grew up on a sheep and beef farm in rural New Zealand, which embedded a passion for the land and agriculture. Linda gets to pursue both of these passions in both her professional and personal life.

John Hancock

Signature Consulting

John Hancock is an independent consultant to utility companies and their suppliers, drawing on his valuable combination of deep experience in both technology and deregulation as key dimensions of the strategic environment in the sector. He has a 20 year career in the utilities industry including 14 years with Ernst & Young, Capgemini and Hewlett Packard (HP) in the Asia Pacific. John has worked with over 50 clients in the utility industry across 11 countries.