Thought Leadership Speakers

Dr Alistair Davies

Senior Advisor – Earthquake Commission (EQC)

Dr Alistair Davies is a Senior Advisor at the Earthquake Commission (EQC). Alistair is part of the Risk Reduction & Resilience team, which works to reduce the impacts on people and property when natural hazards occur. Alistair completed his PhD in Disaster Risk and Resilience at the University of Canterbury, where he worked with infrastructure providers, Civil Defence, and members of the Franz Josef community on recovery planning for a major Alpine Fault earthquake. His worked helped to develop the scenario for Project AF8 (Alpine Fault magnitude 8), and continues to inform planning for major natural hazard events in Aotearoa. Alistair has also worked for a flood risk management consultancy in the UK, and at the National Emergency Management Agency.

 

 

Andreas Heuser

Director – Castalia

Mr. Andreas Heuser is a Director in Castalia’s Wellington office and is the President of the Law and Economics Association of New Zealand.
Andreas has deep experience in institutional design and regulatory policy in New Zealand, Pacific and South East Asia. In the water sector, he led advice to LGNZ evaluating all aspects of institutional options and the economic benefits in the New Zealand Government’s Three Waters reform programme.

He recently advised Watercare on the impact on tariffs of potential amalgamation scenarios. Andreas is also expert on the resource management sector, having evaluated the costs and benefits of the government-appointed Panel’s RMA reforms for the Ministry for the Environment (MfE). Andreas was previously with New Zealand Treasury and is a qualified lawyer and has advised infrastructure investors in Europe.

Key areas of expertise:
• Institutional Design
• Infrastructure Transaction Advisory
• Economic Evaluation

 

Amanda Singleton, BA Communications

Chief Customer Officer – Watercare

Amanda is originally from South Africa, where she worked in the telecommunications industry, as well as consulting for several major corporates in brand and corporate strategy. A passionate customer advocate, she has held senior customer roles at Genesis Energy and Vodafone since moving to New Zealand in 2014. Amanda was appointed Watercare’s Chief Customer Officer in May 2018 and has responsibility for building a customer-centric culture and overseeing all the customer touchpoints in the business. She is also responsible for corporate communication and stakeholder relations.

Brian Hanna

Independent chair of Three Waters Reform Steering group, and appointed Board member of new Drinking Water Regulator, Taumata Arowai

Current Independent chair of Three Waters Reform Steering group, and appointed Board member of new Drinking Water Regulator, Taumata Arowai.
Self employed for 35 years with interests in farming, and commercial businesses. 15 years in local government in Waitomo District, with 9 of those as Mayor (2004-2019). Represented Local Government Rural sector on LGNZ Board and involved in initial Local Govt: Central Govt steering group advising the establishment of new drinking water regulator following Havelock North enquiry. Sit on a number of Boards, and community Trusts in the Waikato region.

 

Professor Catherine Iorns Magallanes

Faculty of Law – Victoria University of Wellington

Catherine Iorns is an award-winning Law Professor at Victoria University of Wellington. She has more than 25 years’ experience teaching and researching on environmental law, indigenous rights and statutory interpretation, including a focus on climate change. Recently she completed a large research project for the Deep South National Science Challenge on New Zealand’s laws on adaptation to sea-level rise. Catherine’s additional roles include being the Academic Adviser to the NZ Council of Legal Education, a member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, and New Zealand’s nominee to the IUCN governing world Council. For a 2020 documentary about her work, see: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2020/05/22/1182421/the-power-of-water

Clare Feeney

Director – Environmental Communications Ltd

Clare Feeney is the founder of the Environment and Sustainability Strategic Training Institute (ESSTI). She has a First Class Masters in limestone hydrology and over 30 years’ experience in environmental management and training on a wide range of topics. She regularly give guest lectures at Masters level at the University of Auckland.

The second edition of Clare’s book How to Change the World – a practical guide to successful environmental training was published in the UK in 2019. It’s a comprehensive how-to manual and comes out of her 30-plus years of hands-on environmental management and training experience.

Her unique strategic approach to environmental training supports environmental experts to develop and deliver truly great training – and to evaluate its effectiveness including its full financial ROI (return on investment).
Clare is on a mission to elevate workforce training to its highest possible status: a powerful way of helping people solve the serious environmental issues facing humanity which also solves their associated social, cultural and economic problems.

David Ehrhardt

Chief Executive – Castalia

Mr. David Ehrhardt is Castalia’s Chief Executive and a recognised expert in developing innovative thinking on sector reforms and private sector participation.
David has 25 years of experience in institutional and regulatory reform of water utilities. He has designed capital expenditure plans, and advised on financing and delivering those plans to meet service coverage and security goals at least cost, including in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

As an institutional and organisational specialist, David has developed management turn-around plans, business plans, and institutional reforms for more than 30 water utilities globally. He has authored a range of best-practice publications for the World Bank and other international agencies. He directed Castalia’s work on the Utility of the Future Framework.

David began his career at the New Zealand Treasury working on the privatisation of the electricity sector and design of energy markets.

Key areas of expertise:
• Water Utility Reform
• Transaction Advisory
• Institutional Design
• Private Finance & PPPs

Danielle Francis

Manager Liveable Communities – WSAA

As WSAA’s Manager Liveable Communities, Danielle advocates for all options on the table for water planning; liveability and circular economy approaches; and promotion of Indigenous issues.
Danielle has conducted years of research and advocacy on purified recycled water for drinking, including writing WSAA’s All Options on the Table – Lessons from the Journeys of Others report. She is on a global Project Advisory Committee for the US Water Research Foundation. She also develops initiatives to promote understanding and adoption of circular economy principles in the water industry.
Before that she held communications, regulatory, pricing, stakeholder and strategy roles in the Australian water industry.

Dina Demiri

Stakeholder Engagement Manager – Tertiary Education Commission

Dina Demiri is the Stakeholder Engagement Manager at the Tertiary Education Commission for the Inspiring Futures Programme. In this role she leads the strategic engagement to connect businesses and industry to the programme. The programme is designed to raise the skills and aspirations of tamariki to meet the needs of the workforce now and for the future.

Dina has been involved in a number of strategic initiatives and programmes at TEC, such as leading the strategic engagement with a range of key industry groups supporting the Food and Fibre Skills Action Plan, Construction Skills Action Plan and the ICT Graduate Schools. She has a strong background working with start- up ventures, and has experience in operational strategy, programme management, and business development; working across corporate, government, finance and IT sectors.

Donna Flavell

Chief Executive of Te Whakakitenga o Waikato Inc (Waikato-Tainui)

Donna is the Chief Executive of Te Whakakitenga o Waikato Inc (Waikato-Tainui). Her impressive background has seen her work on many iwi initiatives in the freshwater space. She managed Waikato’s negotiation of the Waikato River Settlement and, following the settlement, was the General Manager of the Waikato Raupatu River Trust. During her time with Ngāi Tahu she contributed to the development of the iwi’s freshwater strategy.
Currently, she is also the Chair of the Iwi Advisors Group for Freshwater and a Director of Te Wai Maaori Trust.

Eugene Doyle

Eugene Doyle is a community organiser in Wellington. He has been at the forefront of a campaign to fight ongoing contamination of the Owhiro Stream and Tapu Teranga Marine Reserve. Wellington City Council, Wellington Water and Greater Wellington Regional Council were all in turns publicly challenged and engaged by Eugene to make the restoration of streams and coastal marine water a high priority. When the City’s 3 Waters infrastructure had a series of spectacular failures in 2020, a Mayoral Taskforce was formed to map a way forward. Eugene was appointed as community representative and played a prominent role in the formulation of the recommendations their report covers. He founded the Wellington Residents Association Network, and was the instigator and member of both the region’s Multiparty Working Group (using Owhiro Catchment as a pilot for restoration work) and of the region’s Serious Wave Hazard review panel which overhauled wave emergency management response. He is currently a member of the Owhiro Bay Residents Association, Places for Penguins, and other conservation groups. His background is as a writer and communications strategist. He owned and ran the agency that launched the Hurricanes Super 12 franchise and NZ International Sevens advertising campaigns, and has worked with government agencies, trade unions and major corporations. He attended his first demonstration when he was 12, against the Vietnam War, and today very gently tortures public officials for the common good.

Fraser Clark

Principal Advisor – Wellington Water

Fraser is the Principal Advisor for strategy at Wellington Water, where he has responsibility for its Three Waters strategy and ensuring the organisation is investing in the right things, for the right reasons. Prior to joining Wellington Water he spent a number of years in senior roles in the electricity sector, including with the competition regulator, the NZ Wind Energy Association and a large gas and electricity retailer. Originally a chemical and process engineer, Fraser is enjoying being back working with molecules, rather than electrons.

 

Jim Graham

Principal Technical Advisor – Taumata Arowai

Jim is the Principal Technical Advisor with Taumata Arowai, joining the Establishment Unit in February 2020. He has 30 years experience working in the water sector, initially in Health Protection as a Health Protection Officer and Drinking Water Assessor. From 2005 until 2008 Jim worked at the Ministry of Health setting up the $150M Drinking Water Assistance Programme, assisting with the Health (Drinking Water) Amendment Act and the 2008 Drinking Water Standards. Nine years as a Principal Environmental Scientist with Opus, assisting water suppliers with compliance and risk management planning followed before he joined Water New Zealand as Principal Water Quality advisor. He was an expert advisor to the Havelock North Inquiry and has worked on a range of aid projects in the Pacific and Asia.

Jo Hendy

Chief Executive – Climate 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).

 

Katy Te Amo

Head of Strategy and Insights – Taumata Arowai

Katy has been a public servant for most of her career. She trained as a teacher which led her to Te Papa Tongarewa in a range of roles which used her education training. Since her Te Papa days Katy has spent the last 10 plus years in a range of roles across central government. This has included policy roles at Te Puni Kōkiri and three years as Private Secretary to the former Minister of Māori Affairs, Hon Pita Sharples.

In 2014, Katy moved into the Treaty Settlement sector as a Negotiation and Settlement Manager at the Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti.

Katy has been involved in the Three Waters Reform Programme since early 2019, initially leading iwi Māori engagement and policy, then adding in governance once she moved across to the Taumata Arowai Establishment Unit.

Kevin Counsell

Associate Director – NERA

Kevin Counsell is a Wellington-based economist specialising in environment, infrastructure, regulation and competition economics. Kevin has worked for many years on economic issues in the water sector, including on issues relating to water allocation, infrastructure investment, cost recovery, and price setting. He has advised water users, water service providers, and regulators across New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. His recent work includes advice to the UK Regulator’s Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID), a joint team of Ofwat, Environment Agency, and Drinking Water Inspectorate, on the regulatory and commercial framework for bulk water in England and Wales. Kevin has served as an expert witness before courts and hearings panels on environmental and infrastructure issues, and has published in peer reviewed journals on issues relating to water allocation and environmental economics.

Dr. Mahina-a-rangi Baker

Kaitiakitanga Pūtaiao Lecturer – Te Wānanga o Raukawa

Dr. Mahina-a-rangi Baker (Ātiawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa), is a lecturer in Kaitiakitanga Pūtaiao at Te Wānanga o Raukawa. She also runs Te Kōnae, a Māori environmental consultancy that supports iwi and hapū all over the country, and also does work providing advice to government on Māori environmental issues. The work that takes up most of her time is working as the Environment Manager for Te Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai. Her PhD is in Envirnomental Planning and her thesis was focused on mātauranga Māori tools for modelling water catchments. She has also been closely involved in the development of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 in her role on the Kāhui Wai Māori.

Maria Manidaki

Principal Water Investment Planning Advisor / Net Zero Lead – Mott Macdonald

Maria is Mott MacDonald’s Global Lead for Net Zero. She is responsible for co-ordinating cross-discipline skills required for helping clients meet their net zero carbon ambitions. A chartered engineer with over 18 years of experience in investment planning, carbon and asset management, Maria has led a number of strategic decarbonisation projects in infrastructure, including the Water UK Net Zero Carbon Roadmap. Maria has been supporting water utilities and other infrastructure owners in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, North America and the Middle East, understand and implement decarbonisation solutions and strategies. Maria is a member of the Green Construction Board in the UK and has co-authored the Infrastructure Carbon Review and PAS 2080: Carbon Management in Infrastructure. She is a visiting lecturer on Low Carbon and Net Zero Infrastructure at Cranfield University, UK. She is a technical advisor on Net Zero in a number of industry forums including the Institution of Civil Engineers Carbon Project.

Mary Ollivier

Commissioner and CEO – Utilities Disputes

Mary Ollivier is the Commissioner and CEO at Utilities Disputes. She was previously the Director Regulatory at the New Zealand Law Society and before that the acting Executive Director.
Mary is a lawyer who has worked in law firms in Auckland and Wellington and overseas before joining the Law Society.
Mary has been involved in legal regulatory matters at an international level and was appointed to the Joint Australia/New Zealand Standards Committee QR-015 to update the ISO standard Guidelines for complaints handling in organisations.

Michael Arthur

Managing Director – Metis Consultants

Michael is the Managing Director and Principal Engineer at Metis Consultants. He has more than 15years of industry experience working in the flood risk and water sectors in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. He returned to NZ in late 2020 after spending the last 12yrs working in the UK. He has wide experience in the UK water sector including working with central government regulators, influencing government policy and delivery of co-funded projects involving Local Authorities, water companies and the Environment Agency.

Ray McMillan

Head of Regulatory – Taumata Arowai

After serving 10 years in the Royal New Zealand Navy, Ray began his public service career as a barrister and solicitor before developing his skills as a maritime investigator at Maritime NZ. Ray then went on to gain significant experience in developing and leading regulatory teams at the Environmental Protection Authority and Waka Kōtahi. Ray says that his background in law has provided him with a bunch of foundational and transferable skills that he applies daily in his regulatory roles.

Through his career Ray has gained experience across the full spectrum of regulatory activities from policy setting, carrying out frontline activities through to prosecutions, and has worked under the Health and Safety, Maritime Transport, Marine Protection, Hazardous Substances and Rail regulatory frameworks. Ray has also been a keen participant in the development of G-Reg and its predecessors along with numerous regulatory colleagues.

Dr Richard Fletcher

Chief Executive – Aurora Energy

Richard Fletcher (PhD, BEnvSc) joined Aurora Energy as Chief Executive in January 2018 with a mandate to turn around what had been a prolonged period of under-investment in the company’s network infrastructure. Before joining Aurora Energy, Richard was General Manager, Regulation and Corporate Affairs at Powerco responsible for managing policy interactions with the company’s economic and technical regulators, as well as corporate relations with official stakeholders. Prior to that Richard was Regulatory and Pricing Manager at Transpower.
Dr Fletcher relocated with his family from the United Kingdom in 2005. With a background in water and wastewater engineering, he has worked as an environmental engineering and management consultant in the United Kingdom, Middle East and South East Asia, and has advised on energy regulation, asset management, due diligence studies for mergers and acquisitions and engineering investment plans. From 2000 to 2005, Richard was Head of Economic Regulation at Welsh Water PLC, one of the UK’s larger privatised water and wastewater utilities.

Ross Copland

Chief Executive –InfraCom

Ross Copland has a background in the design, procurement, financing, and delivery of infrastructure as an engineer, an asset manager and a Chief Executive. He has worked in commercial construction and property on both sides of the Tasman, finishing up as National Operations Manager for Westfield in 2013. He returned to New Zealand to pursue a career developing tourism infrastructure. Ross holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering with First Class Honours, a Bachelor of Commerce and an MBA.

Shannon Riley

Director – Castalia

Ms. Shannon Riley is a Director in Castalia’s Washington, DC office. She has 7 years’ experience in utility reform, investment planning, financial modelling, public-private partnerships (PPPs), and tariff setting for the water and sanitation sector.

She has advised more than 20 water and sewerage utilities, governments, and regulators. She authored the World Bank’s Utility of the Future Framework and designed the corresponding Excel-based tool. She is an expert in estimating willingness to pay and affordability, calculating marginal costs, estimating the cost of capital, and applying benchmarking to determine potential efficiency gains.

During the ‘Day Zero’ crisis, Shannon advised the City of Cape Town on its water resilience strategy, including how to sequence capital expenditure and communicate technical outputs to policy makers. She is advising on PPPs for small town water supply in Mozambique, institutional restructuring in Bermuda, and sector reform in Ghana. She conceptualized innovative financing for performance-based contracts for non-revenue water reduction.

Key areas of expertise:
• WSS regulation and tariff setting
• Financial modelling and financial planning
• Performance-based contracts and public-private partnerships

Simon Pilkinton

Partner – Russell McVeagh

Simon Pilkinton is a Partner in the Environment, Planning and Natural Resources team at Russell McVeagh and leads the firm’s multi-disciplinary Three Waters sector group. His practice covers all aspects of resource management and local government law, with a focus on development and large-scale infrastructure projects. He regularly advises Watercare on environmental law reform and policy development issues, as well as large-scale consenting projects.

 

Tina Ngata (Ngāti Porou)

Wai Māori

Tina Ngata (Ngāti Porou) is a mother of two from the East Coast. Her work involves advocacy for environmental, Indigenous and human rights. This includes local, national and international initiatives that highlight the role of settler colonialism in issues such as climate change and waste pollution, and promote Indigenous conservation as best practice for a globally sustainable future