Part One – Keynotes

Hon Nanaia Mahuta

As a mother, and a constituent MP with 20 plus years’ experience who has come from ‘flax-root’ politics, Hon Nanaia Mahuta remains connected to the aspirations of people from all walks of life. Those who work hard for a living so that their children can do better, kaumatua, tradespeople, those who aspire to own their home, those who own small businesses and those who lead a range of services and organisations and huge iwi entities.

During her time in Parliament, Nanaia supported policies and initiatives that built the capacity of communities, especially social service organisations, greater investment in education, employment and training opportunities particularly for young people, supported the continuation of the Treaty settlement process and supported specific initiatives that lift the wellbeing and opportunities for young mums and those who are vulnerable and victims of abuse.
Nanaia is a tribal member of Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Manu and her parliamentary experience has enabled her to contribute to the collective aspirations of Maori and all New Zealanders.

In the 2020 Labour Government, Nanaia became the first woman to hold the Foreign Affairs portfolio. She is also Minister of Local Government, and Associate Minister for Māori Development.

Huhana Smith

Associate Professor Huhana Smith is a visual artist, curator and principle investigator in research who engages in major environmental, trans-disciplinary, kaupapa Māori and action-research projects. She is co-principle investigator for research that includes mātauranga Māori methods with sciences to actively address climate change concerns for coastal Māori lands in Horowhenua-Kāpiti. Huhana actively encourages the use of art and design’s visual systems combined in exhibitions, to expand how solutions might integrate complex issues and make solutions more accessible for local communities.

Bill Bayfield


Bill Bayfield is the Chief Executive of Taumata Arowai. He has vast experience in both central and local government and has an in-depth knowledge of drinking water and environmental regulation.

He most recently served over a decade as Chief Executive of Environment Canterbury and previously as Chief Executive of Bay of Plenty Regional Council. He was also Group General Manager at the Ministry for the Environment, with responsibilities for climate change and waste policies of Aotearoa and held senior management roles in the Taranaki Regional Council.

Bill joined Taumata Arowai in May 2020 as Establishment CE and has guided the organisation through “going live” and the beginnings of establishing their new regulatory system.


Ian Cathcart

Ian has 25 years water industry experience working in the UK, USA and NZ. He has worked in roles across operations to business development and general management during a 20 year career with Veolia where he was NZ country manager.

He has an MSc in Water Management from Cranfield University and an MBA from Audencia, France.

Ian is currently on secondment to the Three Waters National Transition Unit from Waikato DC where he was instrumental in setting up the long term contract for three waters services with Watercare.