Our 2019 speaking line up includes:


Mike Underhill

Electra & Network Waitaki

Mike Underhill has extensive management experience in the gas and electricity sector in New Zealand and overseas. He was Chief Executive of EECA from 2007 to 2016. He has been Chief Executive of WEL Networks, TransAlta, and Energy Direct. currently a Director of Electra and Network Waitaki, he has also had significant governance experience in this sector, and has been chairman of Pacific Energy Ltd, EECA, and Katolyst, the Waikato Regional Development agency.

Vince Hawksworth

Chief Executive

Our Chief Executive Vince joined Trustpower in 2010. Originally from the UK where he worked for British Coal, Vince moved to New Zealand with his family in 1993. Vince was Production Manager at Huntly Power Station before roles as General Manager Generation and General Manager Retail with Genesis Energy. Prior to joining Trustpower Vince was appointed CEO for Hydro Tasmania in 2006. Vince studied mining engineering at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham, UK and has an MBA from Waikato University.

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.

Sheridan Broadbent


Sheridan was the Chief Executive of lines company Counties Power, and is currently a board member of Transpower and Timberlands and Ampli.  Sheridan’s executive career has largely been in telecommunications, contracting and the IT sectors in NZ, Australia and the Pacific region, joining the energy sector in 2010 in an executive role with Genesis Energy. 

Dennis Barnes

Chief Executive Officer
Contact Energy

Dennis Barnes was appointed Chief Executive Officer in April 2011. Prior to joining Contact, he was General Manager Energy Risk Management at Origin, based in Sydney. Dennis started with Origin in 1998 and over that time has led sales, systems development, gas trading and generation operations departments. Dennis has guided Origin's significant and expanding operations in wholesale markets. Before that, Dennis worked in a number of positions operating in international energy markets, including managerial roles at Scottish and English electricity companies.

Simon Coates

Concept Consulting

Simon is a director at Concept Consulting.  He has advised governments, regulators, and industry participants on a wide range of issues ranging from market design, through to commercial and strategic advice. 

He also heads up Concept’s modelling and quantitative analysis group which provides market forecasting and bespoke analysis services to clients. 

Prior to joining Concept, Simon held a senior manager role at Contact Energy.

Gareth Hughes

Spokesperson for Energy and Resources
Green Party

Gareth is the Greens spokesperson for energy and resources, ICT, primary industries, commerce and consumer affairs, bio-security, food safety, tourism, animal welfare, technology & R&D and Wellington issues.
His professional background was at Greenpeace where he sailed on the Rainbow Warrior and coordinated New Zealand’s largest climate change campaign Sign On in 2009.
Gareth entered Parliament as the youngest MP in 2010 and is currently the longest-serving Green MP.

Jennifer Nolan

Director External Relations New Zealand
Pacific Aluminium

Jen Nolan joined Pacific Aluminium as Director External Relations (NZ) in 2014.  Jen is responsible for the corporate reputation of New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) and of Pacific Aluminium in New Zealand. Her work incorporates government and regulatory affairs, internal and external communications including media management, oversight of NZAS’ community investment programme and membership of the executive committee of the Major Electricity Users’ Group (MEUG).

Eric Pellicer

Commercial Manager

Eric is the Commercial Manager at Powerco,  New Zealand’s second largest electricity utility. He leads the customer and commercial side of the electricity business and is focused on lifting the engagement with consumers and integration of new energy technologies into the grid. Eric is also accountable for Powerco’s Emerging Energy Consumers and Markets programme which is aimed at understanding what New Zealander’s are looking for from their distribution utility now and in the future.

Stephen Jay

General Manager - Grid Development

Stephen currently holds the role of General Manager - Grid Development for Transpower, where he is accountable for the long term strategic plan and engineering of the transmission grid. 

Previous to this he held senior management roles in the power and investment banking industries, including technical design and consulting with Mitton ElectroNet and PB Power, asset management and maintenance at Meridian Energy, analysis and equities at Kleinwort Benson, and a variety of research, engineering, and operations within the nuclear arm of the CEGB.

Jonathan Kay

Lone Wolf Enterprises

An experienced energy sector leader/senior executive with past managerial experience at Vector, Unison, Mercury Energy and Landis & Gyr.  Jonathan now provides leadership for business undergoing significant transformation with a focus on value innovation, customer led change and commercialisation of new technologies and approaches.  

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.

John Carnegie

Manager Energy, Environment & Infrastructure
Business NZ

John is a regulatory economist with over two decades’ experience in public policy and energy markets.
John has previously held roles at New Zealand Treasury, the Ministry for Economic Development, the electricity market operator (the Marketplace Company) and Genesis Energy.

John specialises in energy and climate change policy and its implications for business.