Our 2022 speakers are:

Naomi James

Chief Executive Officer
Refining NZ

Naomi has overseen a huge period of change for New Zealand’s only oil refinery, and in 2020 the company undertook a comprehensive strategic review to determine the best way forward for their business. After an extensive period of engagement with Refining NZ staff, customers and wider industry, and the New Zealand Government, the Board of Refining NZ confirmed its transition away from oil refining, and into a fuel import-terminal. This change, which is due to take place in April 2022, is reflective of the difficult operating environment that the refinery has been facing.

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.

Joey Au

Chief Strategy Officer
Electricity Authority

Joey provides strategic counsel to the Chief Executive and translates the Authority’s vision into action to realise its statutory objective and sector ambitions.

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.


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.


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.

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.

Blake Cheesman

Hydro Technician

Blake joined Trustpower (soon to be Manawa Energy) in late 2019 and is currently working as a hydro technician in the Bay of Plenty team, covering both Matahina and Kaimai power schemes. Prior to joining Trustpower, Blake completed his apprenticeship and gained a range of experience with W.E.C. New Zealand – an electrical contracting outfit carrying out work for various companies including Oji Fibre Solutions Kawerau & Kinleith, Asaleo Care Kawerau, Boardmills Whakatane, and Fonterra Edgecumbe.

Ellie Lock

Engineer - Drilling and Projects

Ellie Lock joined Contact Energy over two years ago as one of the drilling & project engineers working on the Tauhara Power Station.  Originally from Perth, Australia, Lock is now based in the beautiful central North Island and calls Taupō her second home. She says there is a lot to love about the mahi she does and the people she works with. One of her biggest highlights is being able to make a direct difference to New Zealand’s renewable energy goals. She gets to develop, drill and test new geothermal wells which will deliver continuous clean energy to the market.

Rachael Martis

Energy Margin Group - Manager

Rachael Martis is a chartered accountant with over 7 years’ experience providing high quality financing and accounting support to businesses. Rachael started her career as an auditor at Deloitte progressing to leading and managing audits across a range of industries. After 4.5 years at Deloitte, she made the shift into the energy sector, supporting the wholesale markets and portfolio team aiming to provide greater insights to Mercury’s financial performance.

Elliott Powell

Senior Derivatives Trader

Elliott is a Senior Derivatives Trader at Genesis Energy. Elliott specialises in bringing the technical and engineering side of energy together with the financial and commercial outcomes. He is on the board of the Young Energy Professionals Network and is passionate about helping young professionals thrive in the energy sector. He is driven by the significance of our sector for New Zealanders’ lives and contributing to the opportunity to decarbonise New Zealand over the next couple of decades.

Caitlin Tromop van Dalen

Senior Advisor
Gas Industry Company

Caitlin is a senior adviser at Gas Industry Co. After completing a mechanical engineering degree and a masters of energy studies, she worked as a market analyst at Transpower with a focus on electricity security of supply. In her current role at Gas Industry Co., she is involved in projects assessing the role of gas out to the future. She was one of the lead authors of the Gas Market Settings Investigation, which assessed if the current market, regulatory and commercial settings in the gas sector were fit for purpose for New Zealand’s decarbonisation transition.

Huia Burt

Chief Strategy Officer
The Energy Collective

Huia Burt has two decades of experience in the risk, investment and energy sectors. She is a co-founder of Electric Kiwi, a retailer challenging the status quo and bringing great pricing, innovative propositions and awesome online customer service to the New Zealand market. In 2019 the business transformed into The Energy Collective, the parent company for Electric Kiwi in New Zealand and ReAmped Energy in Australia, bringing the same technology smarts and fantastic online service to Aussie households.

Tony Baldwin

Market Development Advisory Group (MDAG)

Tony Baldwin appointed as Chair of the Market Development Advisory Group from 30 May 2021 – 30 May 2022. Tony is a consultant providing advisory and project management services in relation to transactions, strategy, re-structuring and public policy. He has a long involvement in the electricity industry, starting in the early 1990s leading the Government’s team of officials and consultants in breaking-up ECNZ, through to project managing for Genesis Energy its role in the MOM IPO process and subsequent acquisitions.

Bennet Tucker

Strategic Analysis Manager

Bennet is the Strategic Analysis Manager at Trustpower, soon to be Manawa Energy and currently leads the strategy function for the Manawa side of the business. Before joining Trustpower 2 years ago, Bennet led the security of supply function at Transpower, and prior to that worked as a strategic analyst at Meridian Energy. Bennet’s expertise includes strategic planning, economic analysis and operations research, essentially a professional tea-leaf reader trying to understand what the future might hold for the energy industry.

Joe Delaney

Industry Strategy Director, Energy & Utilities

Joe Delaney is a Salesforce Global Industry Advisor for Energy and Utilities, and leads industry strategy for Australia and New Zealand. With over 13 years’ experience working across the electricity value chain, he brings deep passion and thought leadership to advising clients on successfully navigating the Energy Transition.

Chris Jewell

Chief Financial Officer
Lodestone Energy

Chris has had a long and distinguished career in energy and is considered one of the prime movers in the New Zealand electricity market. He brings significant senior leadership experience in the energy sector across markets, infrastructure investment and asset operations. Chris sat on the Electricity Authority governance board and has previously worked in the telecommunications and infrastructure sectors in the United Kingdom. Chris comes to Lodestone Energy from Genesis Energy as Chief Financial Officer and was at Mercury prior to that.

Bella Takiari-Brame

Professional Director

Bella Takiari-Brame is Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato-Tainui, Ngapuhi and Te Whānau ā Apanui. She is a professional director and Chartered Accountant with an international career in oil, gas and utilities, treasury, bank financing and audit and risk. Bella is the former GM Finance for WEL Networks and more recently the Interim Chief Executive for Maniapoto Māori Trust Board. She is now a Board member for ACC, Director for Crown Infrastructure Partners, The Lines Company, Braemar Hospital, Te Ohu Kai Moana, Council Member for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and Trustee for Maniapoto Māori Trust Board.

Brett Rogers

Elemental Group

Brett has experience in energy businesses. This has involved joint venture management, asset management, field development planning, financial analysis, asset sales and purchase, well construction, stimulation, production optimisation, reservoir modelling and team building.

He is a lifeguard, and competitor with the Fitzroy Surf Lifesaving Club.


Simon Currie

Energy Estate

Simon has more than 25 years of experience advising on the development, acquisition and financing of assets in the energy sector globally.

He has experience across the energy value chain, ranging from upstream oil and gas to electricity and gas transmission and distribution. Simon has worked on ground-breaking and innovative transactions in over 75 countries. He is noted as “one of the most well-connected in the energy industry.”

Prior to founding Energy Estate, Simon was Global Head of Energy at Norton Rose Fulbright.

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 has held CFO roles across NZX, ASX listed entities including PGG Wrightsons, EROAD, Auckland Airport and unlisted businesses such as Sealord and Fonterra Ingredients. Jason 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.

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.

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 then 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.

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.

Alison Andrew

Chief Executive

Alison joined Transpower in 2014. She has held a number of senior executive roles across various industry sectors, most recently as Global Head of Chemicals for Orica PLC.  She is a Director for Port of Tauranga, and has been a Director for Genesis Energy.  

Prior to these roles, she held a number of senior roles at Fonterra Cooperative Group and across the Fletcher Challenge Group in Energy, Forests and Paper.  Alison has a MBA from Warwick University, and studied Engineering (Chemicals and Materials) at Auckland University.

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.


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.

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 took 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.

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 region. John has worked with over 50 clients in the utility industry across 11 countries.