Speakers

Our 2021 speakers were:

Simon Mackenzie

Group Chief Executive Officer
Vector

Simon Mackenzie is passionate about the power of technology to transform the energy industry and consumers’ lives. As Group Chief Executive, he has expanded and driven Vector’s portfolio of businesses to embrace innovative technologies and strategies to deliver efficient, sustainable energy solutions to consumers. Simon was appointed Vector’s Group Chief Executive in 2008. His tertiary qualifications include engineering, finance and business studies, and the Advanced Management Programme at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Buddhika Rajapakse

Manager – Energy Futures
Mercury

Buddhika is Manager – Energy Futures at Mercury NZ Limited. He is responsible for strategy, business development and partnerships for new energy ventures. This includes areas such as battery storage, distributed energy resources, electric mobility, industrial decarbonisation and alternative energy carriers. Buddhika has a well-rounded commercial, regulatory and analytical appreciation for the New Zealand electricity market from eight years in roles covering high voltage transmission and trading analytics at Mercury.

Gretta Stephens

Chief Executive
New Zealand Steel

Gretta joined Bluescope Steel as Chief Executive New Zealand & Pacific Islands in 2018. She was General Manager of New Zealand Aluminium Smelter since August 2013. Prior to this role, she served as General Manager Business Improvement and Technology in Pacific Aluminum's Brisbane office.

Jesse Corlett

Manager, Policy and Engagement
EECA

Jesse Corlett is Manager, Policy and Engagement at the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). He has previously served as a Private Secretary to the Minister of Energy and Resources (then Hon Judith Collins), and as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC). He holds a Master of Public Management from Victoria University of Wellington and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Cambridge.  

Dieter Adam

Executive Director
The Manufacturers' Network

Dieter has worked with a large number of New Zealand’s leading food and beverage exporters, as well as manufacturers in the agritech sector, helping them grow their export businesses.

With a PhD in plant biotechnology, Dieter’s experience covers senior executive and governance roles in the manufacturing and service sectors combined with business-to-business and business-to-consumer relationships, both internationally and in New Zealand.

Carl Findlater

Chair
Southland Power Trust

Carl was elected as a Trustee in September 2013, and has served as Chair from 2018. Through his career, he has been involved in Heavy Industry, Education, and Compliance.

Carl splits his time between Energy Consulting and the family’s Sawmilling enterprise. He has previously served as a Board member on the Forest Industry Training and Education Council, and Chair of the Solid Wood Processing Association.

Carl is active in community based Trusts and Clubs, and a committee member of the Invercargill Cultural Welfare Society.

Briony Bennett

Senior Policy Advisor - Energy Markets Policy
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Briony started her career as an electricity trading systems analyst at the European Power Exchange (EPEX Spot) in 2014 after completing a Masters in international energy economics and policy at Sciences Po in Paris, France. She went on to work as a renewable energy policy analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London, U.K. before returning to New Zealand and undertaking a role as an energy & carbon analyst for Genesis Energy.

Richard Westlake

Managing Director
Westlake Governance

Richard is the founder and Managing Director of Westlake Governance Limited, and brings enormous practical experience to his role, having been a board chair and director for more than 25 years in a very wide range of organisations. As a Board Chair, he has particular expertise and experience in leading transformational organisation change, across a range of sectors.

He works across New Zealand and Australia, and is increasingly in demand internationally.

Ben Gerritsen

General Manager Customer and Regulation
Firstgas Group

Ben leads the Firstgas Group strategy, marketing and regulatory teams, and is responsible for the commercial operations of Firstgas’ pipeline businesses. Ben is focused on ensuring that we engage proactively and constructively with our customers and regulators, positioning Firstgas Group as a respected player in New Zealand’s energy landscape.   Most recently his focus and energy has been on exploring how gas infrastructure can help Aotearoa’s transition to a lower carbon economy, with research into biogas, hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) solutions underway.

Paul Goodeve

Chief Executive
First Gas

Paul joined First Gas as CEO in June 2016 after more than a decade in a variety of roles at New Zealand’s second largest electricity and gas lines business, Powerco. Paul’s last role with Powerco was General Manager Operations Support.

In this position Paul led a team of more than 100 staff responsible for developing the company’s information technology, network information, and facility management systems. Paul’s team was also tasked with corporate affairs, as well as business and technology opportunities development.

Julie Hardaker

Deputy Chair
Governance New Zealand 

Julie has an LLB (Hons) and MMS (Hons) from Waikato University and is a Chartered Fellow of The Chartered Governance Institute. Julie is a lawyer, governance professional and the former Mayor of Hamilton from 2010 - 2016. She has practiced law for 25 years and operates her own law firm in Hamilton.

Julie is chair of the Environmental Protection Authority, deputy chair of Governance New Zealand and Chair of Women on Boards. She holds other government and private sector board roles.

Hon Dr Megan Woods

Minister of Energy and Resources
Labour Government

Hon Megan Woods is a Christchurch local, and has been the Member of Parliament for Wigram since 2011. Following the 2017 election, Megan was sworn in as a Minister of the Crown with portfolio responsibilities including the Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Energy and Resources, and Research, Science and Innovation.

In the 2020 Labour Government, Megan was appointed Minister of Housing, Minister of Energy and Resources, and Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, alongside Associate Minister of Finance.

Mary Ollivier

Commissioner and Chief Executive
Utilities Disputes

Mary Ollivier joined Utilities Disputes as Commissioner and CEO in February 2020. Mary was previously the Director Regulatory at the New Zealand Law Society and before that the acting Executive Director from January 2018 until April 2019.  

Raewyn Moss

General Manager External Affairs
Transpower

Raewyn is GM External Affairs at Transpower heading up communications and engagement, landowner relations, environmental and property management, iwi and community relations and sustainability.   Raewyn has worked in the sector for 20 years, both at Transpower and Meridian.  She has extensive RMA experience working on large infrastructure projects including consenting windfarms, hydro and irrigation schemes.  

John Kidd

Director, Head of Research
Enerlytica

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.

Campbell Barry

Mayor
Lower Hutt

Campbell Barry was elected to the Wainuiomata Community Board in 2010, and served as Wainuiomata’s ward councillor for two terms before being elected Mayor in October 2019. 

He was born and raised in Lower Hutt, and attended the local primary, intermediate and high school in Wainuiomata.  He lives there with his wife Laura, and is actively involved in the local community – playing club cricket and refereeing rugby. 

Andy Burgess

Head of Energy, Airports and Dairy Regulation
Commerce Commission

Prior to joining the Commerce Commission Andy lead the UK's Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) work on electricity access and non-residual charging and the teams dealing with emerging issues such as storage, local energy and electric vehicles. He led Ofgem on the joint Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan with Government and jointly chairs the Ofgem-BEIS Smart Systems Forum.

Jo Mooar

Senior Corporate Counsel
Transpower

Jo is a Senior Corporate Counsel at Transpower, with an environmental law focus.  Jo has over 20 years RMA experience, including 10 years at commercial law firms.  In this time, Jo has worked on large infrastructure projects, for Transpower and other infrastructure operator providers.  Jo has been involved in numerous regulatory processes under the RMA and other fast track legislation, including select committee hearings and council plan making processes.

David Prentice

Chief Executive
Trustpower

David was appointed in Jan 2020 in an acting capacity following the departure of the previous CEO, Vince Hawksworth. Originally from Scotland, David moved to New Zealand in 1997 and initially worked as an engineer with Opus International Consultants. Following a number of different roles within Opus, David was appointed Chief Executive and Managing Director in 2010. Opus was an NZX listed global infrastructure professional services company employing around 3000 people in 80 offices. He also served on the Board of Directors for Opus as a non-independent and executive board member.

Dr Nicola (Nicki) Crauford

Chairperson
Electricity Authority

Dr Nicola Crauford (Nicki) has extensive industry knowledge and governance experience. Nicki is currently Chair of GNS Science and Director at Kāinga Ora, Watercare Services and CentrePort. Previously Nicki has held executive roles in the sector with Transpower and governance roles with Genesis Energy, Orion New Zealand and Pioneer Energy.

Nicki’s industry and governance experience also includes roles at Environmental Protection Authority, Wellington Water, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and the Institute of Directors.

Earl Bardsley

Associate Professor
The University of Waikato

Earl is the originator of the idea of using Lake Onslow for significant energy storage via pumped storage. He has supervised a Masters and a PhD thesis simulating Onslow operations. His research interests are:

  • Interaction of pumped storage and river hydrology (Onslow and Ngaruroro schemes)
  • Data-based hydroclimatic forecasting
  • Developing stochastic and deterministic hydrological models of maximum simplicity

Guy Waipara

General Manager of Generation and Natural Resources
Meridian

Guy Waipara (Rongowhakaata) was appointed to General Manager of Generation and Natural Resources in November 2017. Prior to this he was General Manager of Markets and Production from April 2016, and held the role of General Manager of External Relations from August 2010. Guy has held roles at Meridian in offshore business development and setting company strategy. He has over 25 years' experience in the electricity sector and previously worked at Transpower New Zealand Limited in roles responsible for transmission planning and network development.

Luke Blincoe

Chief Executive
The Energy Collective

The Energy Collective creates and scales digital startup companies to disrupt global energy markets, and owns Electric Kiwi (NZ) and ReAmpedEnergy (Aus). Electric Kiwi has been the fastest growing electricity retailer in New Zealand for over 3 years. In 2018 Electric Kiwi won the Deloitte fast 50 as the fastest-growing company in New Zealand and was NZ Energy Retailer of the year in 2018. ReAmped began trading in mid-2019 in Queensland and NSW. Electric Kiwi has 60,000 customers in NZ and ReAmped has 10,000 customers in Australia.

Mike Smith

Chairman
WISPA.NZ (Wireless Internet Service Providers Association)

Michael had worked in the communications industry for over 11 years, mostly in the Telecom dealer channel working primarily with business and rural customers. After seeing the limited offerings and challenges to rural customers and the opportunity to do something about this, Michael started Ultimate mobile taking the experience he obtained through years in the industry.

David Reeve

Director
Sapere Research Group

David is a technical expert and risk manager specialising in renewable generation (hydro, geothermal and wind), electric power-system operation and electricity markets. He is experienced in resolving complex issues affecting value and risk in electricity, including renewable resource utilisation, energy and transmission pricing, electricity trading and operation, ancillary services, revenue metering and risk management integration.

David has extensive experience in the New Zealand power system and market and has also worked in Australia, Philippines and Singapore.

Emily Calvert

Senior Policy Advisor
BusinessNZ Energy Council

Emily Calvert is the Senior Policy Advisor of BusinessNZ Energy Council, working with the Executive Director Energy and Innovation, Tina Schirr. Her responsibilities include identifying strategic trends, providing advice based on robust analysis and advocating on behalf of council members.

Jo Hendy

Chief Executive
Climate Change Commission

Jo Hendy led the Secretariat of the Interim Climate Change Committee and oversaw the Committee’s inquiry into renewable electricity. In her former role as Director of Research and Analysis for the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, she led independent environmental investigations into issues including sea-level rise and agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. Jo also spent seven years working for Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics, and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Science (Meteorology).

Michael Dyson

Vice President, Sales - APAC
SOTI

Over the last 18 years, Michael has been working with the technology community to develop and implement mobility solutions for mission and business critical applications. With extensive experience across the Health & Government, Field Service, Retail & Logistics sectors, Michael understands the challenges that working in harsh and remote environments can present and how to provide exceptional solutions by successfully deploying, managing and supporting technology that is fit for purpose.

Andrew Clennett

Co-Founder and CEO
Hiringa Energy

Andrew is an experienced energy executive with strong organisational development skills and a track record of delivery on business integration, transition and growth.​

Andrew has over 23 years' of broad international experience in a range of senior leadership, management, commercial and technical roles.

Craig Clifton

Practice Leader Climate Change
Jacobs

Craig is Jacobs’ global technical leader in resilience and climate change. He specialises in climate change natural hazards vulnerability and risk, as well as planning for resilience in transportation infrastructure and for water and energy utilities.

Jimmy Ormsby

Managing Director
Waitomo Group

Jimmy is the Managing Director and owner of Waitomo. Grandson to founder Desmond Ormsby, Jimmy joined Waitomo in 2003 after returning to New Zealand from the UK. Jimmy became a Director of Waitomo in 2009 and was appointed Managing Director in 2016.

Stuart Frazer

Director
Frazer Lindstrom

Stuart has more than 20 years experience in the international energy sector and more than 15 years in climate change policy.

Alan Pearson

Chief Executive
TIL Group

Alan has spent over 40 years in business and completed  a Bachelor Business Administration (Accounting & Commercial Law) UTS – Sydney and Master’s Degree in Technology Management (Griffith University Brisbane). He is a Chartered Accountant [CA] CAANZ, Fellow CPA ASCPA and has completed a Certificate in Company Direction through IODNZ. Alan has worked for Alcan Aluminium , Smorgon Glass & Plastics, Amcor, Fletcher Challenge & Fletcher Building, Hall’s and currently the CEO at TIL Logistics Group.

Kieran Devine

Fuel Resource Manager, ECNZ during the 1992 hydro crisis and General Manager System Operations, Transpower 2002-14

Kieran held the role of General Manager System Operations from 2004 to 2014. prior to this Kieran was General Manager Service Delivery, a role he held since joining Transpower in 2002. His previous roles have included General Manager Generation for ECNZ, where he managed over 95% of New Zealand’s electricity generation system, and General Manager, Beca Power for engineering consultants Beca Carter Hollings and Ferner Limited.

Catherine Beard

Executive Director
Export NZ

Catherine Beard has a wealth of experience in government relations and communication on behalf of industry associations, and is a champion for New Zealand manufacturers and international traders.

Catherine has close connections to key Government Officials and Government Ministers that have responsibilities for trade.  As Executive Director of ExportNZ she provides strong advocacy on behalf of industry to communicate their business challenges to politicians, policy makers, the media and the public.

Dr Rowan Dixon

Principal Specialist - Sustainability & Resilience
WSP

Dr. Rowan Dixon leads WSP NZ’s sustainability insight and expertise. His training and experience across the public and private sector has sharpened his interrogation of climate and carbon policy and practice. Rowan supports authorities and asset owners across Aotearoa to navigate and deliver against their climate and carbon direction and ambition. He understands the interdependencies within these challenges and the complex trade-offs they share. He uses these insights to help decarbonise our built environment, our communities and our strategic and planning processes.

Nigel Barbour

Chief Executive
Powerco

Nigel joined Powerco in October 2002 and was appointed Chief Executive in October 2011. He was previously General Manager Electricity and has also held a range of other executive-level Commercial and Corporate roles within Powerco. He has an economics and legal background and has previously held roles with Transpower and Bank of New Zealand.

Alison Andrew

Chief Executive
Transpower

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.

Shane Dufaur

GM Operations & Supply Chain
Ballance Agri-Nutrients

Shane is a champion of health & safety and enabling people to perform at their best. Previously Chief Executive of Dominion Salt since 2012 and Managing Director of FTL, Shane is well-known in industry circles.

He has a depth of experience in New Zealand and has also held executive positions for global brands such as Navman, where he was Vice-President, and market-leading engineering services business, Schlumberger Oilfield Services, where he worked across a range of functions and roles in Asia, Australasia, United States and the Middle East over 13 years.

Fiona Smith

General Manager Customer Operations
Trustpower

Fiona joined Trustpower in 1996. Holding a number of senior roles at Trustpower, her career has focused on leading and implementing change that supports our multi utility proposition and values our customer’s experience. In her present role, Fiona is responsible for the Customer Operations business; this encompasses almost all customer touch points and includes meter reading, provisioning, billing, collections and our Contact Centre.

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.

Richard Fletcher

Chief Executive
Aurora Energy

Richard Fletcher (PhD, BEnvSc) joined Aurora Energy as Chief Executive in January 2018. He has extensive international experience in engineering and management consulting. He has advised on energy regulation, asset management, due diligence studies for mergers and acquisitions, as well as engineering investment plans. Before joining Aurora Energy, Richard was General Manager Regulation and Corporate Affairs at Powerco and before that a senior manager at national grid operator, Transpower NZ. From 2000 to 2005, Richard was Head of Economic Regulation at Welsh Water PLC.

Tracey Hickman

Chief Customer Officer
Genesis

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.

Peter Armstrong

Chief Executive Officer
Westpower

Peter is a chartered engineer and the CEO of Westpower. Prior to this he was General Manager of Mitton ElectroNet. Peter has a background in technical and commercial leadership in renewable energy, transmission and distribution engineering.

James Stevenson-Wallace

Chief Executive
Electricity Authority

James joined the Authority as Chief Executive in September 2018. Over the past 10 years James has held various senior public sector management and advisory roles focused on industry and resource development across the primary and extractive sectors. He is experienced in organisational development, policy formation, operational service delivery, and compliance and enforcement. Prior to the Authority James was General Manager Energy and Resources at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Brent Layton

Dr Layton is the immediate past chair of the Electricity Authority, a role he held for 10 years. Dr Layton is also a former senior fellow and chief executive of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER). He has been a director or chairman of organisations in sectors as diverse as banking and finance, health, scientific research, electricity, food processing, transport and information technology.

Alan Eyes

Energy Manager
New Zealand Steel

Alan Eyes is Energy Manager for New Zealand Steel. As well as operating an integrated Steel Mill at Glenbrook, the business includes sand mining operations at Waikato North Head and Taharoa, and more latterly the inclusion of Pacific Steel NZ at Otahuhu. He is a member of the Electricity Authority Wholesale Advisory Group, on the Executive Committee of the Major Electricity Users Group, and Major Gas User Group. Alan is also Chairman of Counties Power Consumer Trust, with trustees holding 100% of the shares in lines distribution business Counties Power Limited

Sheridan Broadbent

Director
Transpower

Sheridan was the Chief Executive of lines company Counties Power, and is currently deputy chair of Kordia, a board member of Transpower, NZTA, Timberlands and is chair of smart meter analytics company 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. 

John Hancock

Director
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.

Linda Mulvihill

Head of Energy & Climate
Fonterra

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. Linda works for Fonterra, NZ’s largest dairy co-operative, where she leads the strategy and program to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions across the manufacturing sites, while also ensuring that the company has an economic and secure supply of energy.