Keynote Speakers

Erin Brockovich (Virtual Keynote)

A formerly-unknown legal researcher who became a 20th century icon overnight thanks to Julia Roberts’ Oscar-winning tour de force, ERIN BROCKOVICH’s dogged persistence was the impelling force behind the largest medical settlement lawsuit in history. A modern-day “David” who loves a good brawl with today’s “Goliaths,” Erin thrives on being the voice for those who don’t know how to yell. She is a rebel, an environmentalist, and a mother. She is also a strong believer that it only takes one person to make a difference. And so in engagements around the world, Erin uses her life experiences to motivate and bring inspiration to audiences, providing lessons on her four steps to success, her motto for resilience and perseverance, and advocacy for causes that matter.

Since her investigation uncovered that Pacific Gas & Electric had been poisoning the small town of Hinkley’s Water for over 30 years– leading to the largest direct action lawsuit of its kind that resulted in the utility giant paying $333 million in damages to more than 600 Hinkley residents– Erin has leant her voice to other key issues such as the Flint Water Crisis. Celebrated for her charisma and insight, at engagements she receives out of this world reviews, such as: “Erin was wonderful! She is an exceptional speaker who spoke with heart” (Benton Area Chamber of Commerce); “We received such great feedback… our launch was a huge success!” (LegalTube); “She was a spectacular hit! Not only is she so down to earth and lovely, her talk was so inspirational! We think that everyone who heard will be adopting her mantra of ‘sticktoitiveness.'”

Helmut Karewa Modlik

Chief Executive, Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira

Helmut is an experienced director, executive, and consultant with specialist skills in implementation and change management, business, and economic development (including new venture identification, planning, and establishment), strategic analysis and planning, public policy, and finance. Helmut has extensive consulting experience in a wide range of private and public sectors (particularly health) including appointment to the boards of PHARMAC, Capital & Coast District Health Board, Health Information Standards Organisation, and Health Information Strategy Action Committee.




Maree Lang

Managing Director – Greater Western Water

In October 2020, the Minister for Water, Chair of Western Water and Chair of City West Water announced the integration of Western Water and City West Water to form Greater Western Water effective 1 July 2021.

The formation of Greater Western Water was identified as the best way to cater for population growth in the west while continuing to supply high quality, affordable water services.

Maree was appointed the inaugural Managing Director of Greater Western Water as at 1 July 2021.

Maree was previously appointed Managing Director of City West Water in April 2020 and Acting Managing Director in November 2019. Prior to this Maree was an executive with City West Water, leading the delivery of water services to over one million Melbournians across the Melbourne CBD, inner suburbs and the growing western region, as well as the delivery of major new assets vital for growth, urban renewal and government infrastructure.
She brings a passion to lead culture, safety and business transformation in order to deliver exceptional outcomes for customers and the communities we service. Maree combines her water sector experience with a diverse and commercial driven background, and her leadership was also recognized by her inclusion as IPAA Top 50 Women in Public Sector (Victoria) 2018.

Jon Lamonte

Chief Executive, Northland & Auckland – Water Services Entity.

Jon is a former senior officer in the Royal Force in the UK, flying operationally, before tours in the Ministry of Defence and in logistics and procurement.  After leaving the Service, he became Chief Executive of Tube Lines, running the engineering and upgrade of London’s busiest underground lines, before taking over all modes of transport in the Greater Manchester region as Chief Executive for TfGM.  More recently, he led Sydney Metro through the opening of their first driverless line, whilst constructing 3 more lines in Australia’s largest public transport project.  He was appointed as Watercare’s CEO in April 2021 – February 2023.

More recently, The Department of Internal Affairs appointed Jon to lead New Zealand’s largest water entity as Chief Executive, Entity A.  He is Director of the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA)


Ziena Jalil

Inspirational Speaker

Ziena is an award-winning business and public sector leader, focused on deepening New Zealand’s engagement with the Asia Pacific, and improving outcomes for those with diverse cultures, abilities and experiences. She is a board member for Toka Tū Ake EQC, the Asia New Zealand Foundation, Education New Zealand, and DNA, and Chief of Staff at Te Pūkenga.

Recognised by Campaign Asia Pacific as part of its 2020 Women to Watch, a group of 40 outstanding women in the Asia Pacific, Ziena is a sought after MC and facilitator, and a keynote speaker on leadership, Asia business, international education, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

A former New Zealand Trade Commissioner to Singapore, Ziena has received several international awards for her work promoting New Zealand trade and education in Asia, where she was based in various roles for 10 years.


Dallas King

Hokianga, Ngāpuhi

Dallas King is a kai kōrero for Ngāti Kaharau & Ngāti Hau Hapū in Hokianga and is recognised for her work in advancing the representation of communities in local decision making.

Raised in a whānau who honours the traditional methodologies of passing on ancestral knowledge, King went on to study taking a keen interest in Biology, Ecology, & Environmental Sciences reporting that it provided opportunities to consider Te Ao Māori scientific concepts from alternative points of view.

As a statutory provider Dallas became Aotearoa’s youngest Education Commissioner pioneering new pathways for wāhine Māori in an otherwise European & male dominated governance sector.

She remains active providing advice & expertise to the private & public sectors here and across the world promoting indigenous knowledge systems as a sustaining basis for systemic & responsive transformation.

Dallas continues to walk alongside her elders as knowledge holders & practitioners, learning & sharing kōrero tuku iho and contributing to its continuum through ngā mahi tirotiro (observing signs within the living world).

She has been a staunch advocate for tikanga Māori & te mana o te taiao within her rohe, especially with regard to wai.

Karlene Maywald

Former Minister of Water, South Australia

Karlene is the South Australian Water Ambassador for the South Australian Government, the Managing Director of Maywald Consultants Pty Ltd, Chair of WaterAid Australia and Director of WaterAid International.

Karlene has been providing advice to international governments and organisations on transboundary water management, economic development, community engagement, evidence-based decision making, and the role that credible science plays in underpinning community confidence. She has an intuitive ability to analyse and identify key information to support decision making and a very good understanding of the importance of good governance. She uses her inquiring mind to seek innovative solutions to overcome obstacles and generate improvements to service delivery.

Karlene’s time as a Cabinet Minister with the SA Government has given her extensive experience in high-level strategic planning, oversight of major infrastructure planning and delivery, reform of governance and organisational structures, budget oversight, change management, problem-solving across a broad range of high-risk sectors and driving the delivery of major policy reforms.

Karlene has held such positions as: Chair of the National Water Commission (2012 – 2015); representative for the seat of Chaffey in the South Australian House of Assembly (1997 – 2010); South Australia’s Minister for Water Security and the River Murray (2004 – 2010); Director of the South Australian Water Corporation (2011 – 2012 and 2014 – 2018). In addition, she also served on numerous national ministerial councils including the Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council, the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council, the Primary Industries Ministerial Council and the Regional Development Ministerial Council.

Regulator’s Panel

Bill Bayfield – facilitor

Bill Bayfield was until recently the Chief Executive of Taumata Arowai. He experience in both central and local government and has an in-depth knowledge of drinking,wastewater, stormwater and environmental regulation.

He 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  and previously 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 then as CEO he led the establishment their new regulatory system until Feburary 2023.


Allan Prangnell – Taumata Arowai

Allan has a wealth of leadership experience across central and local government. He was recently the Deputy Chief Executive of Te Manatū Waka (Ministry of Transport) where he provided leadership and advice on the performance of the transport system.

Prior to Te Manatū Waka, Allan was Executive Director Three Waters at the Department of Internal Affairs. Allan led and delivered the establishment of Taumata Arowai as a crown entity with an entirely new regulatory regime. Key to this work was the engagement with iwi across the motu on understanding and giving effect to iwi/hapū/Māori interests in water services and regulation.

Allan has significant experience in regulation, organisational design, transformation, governance and leadership, strategic leadership, and managing stakeholder relationships within complex organisations.

Andy Burgess – Commerce Commission

Andy Burgess is responsible for regulating electricity lines, gas pipelines, fibre broadband, the three main New Zealand airports, and in future water infrastructure. Andy joined the Commission in December 2019 after working for regulators in the United Kingdom. At the energy regulator, Ofgem, he had senior roles managing the energy transition, network regulation, and enforcement and competition policy, and was on the Bureau of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Network of Economic Regulators. Andy was also on the Board of the Agency for the Cooperation of European Energy Regulators and the General Assembly of the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER).  He previously had several roles at the Office of Rail Regulation.



Fiona McTavish – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Fiona joined the Bay of Plenty Regional Council in in 2012 and was appointed Chief Executive in mid-2018.  Prior to local government, Fiona spent 20 years in and around central government in Wellington including general manager roles in education and health.  She has also worked in the private sector as an international consultant and general manager for the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Fiona is a Director of the Quayside Group of companies, Priority One Board Member and Tauranga Girls’ College Trustee.  Fiona is also a Global Women member inspiring women leaders and pushing for diversity in leadership. Fiona has chaired national level working groups and boards and filled a number of trustee roles.

Fiona holds a Masters in Regional and Resource Planning and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. She is also a Resource Management Act Accredited Commissioner.