Kia ora New Zealand Community Energy Forum attendees,
We are looking forward to hosting you on Thursday 26 November at the University of Auckland Business School (Owen G Glenn Building), Room 310. A few points of information to help you plan:
- Registration opens at 8:45 and the welcome starts promptly at 9AM. We’ll have coffee and tea ready to start the day.
- Our updated program and other details such as parking and guest WIFI access at the University of Auckland can be found on our Eventbrite page.
- If you are attending in person and have not indicated your dietary requirements when registering, please do so by COB Monday.
- For those attending by Zoom throughout the day, either to speak or spectate (or both), you can join here: https://auckland.zoom.us/j/93241517286
- At the end of this email you’ll find profiles of each of our panel speakers which you may find useful for networking and Q+A purposes.
We have just two in person spaces left, which suggests we are in for a stimulating day of discussion.
Noho ora mai,
Sumaria Beaton has worked in the Community Energy & Housing sector for the past 15 years leading Awarua Synergy, a hapu/marae-owned enterprise based in Southland. Awarua Synergy, which now employs 28 people, was born out of Bluff with a vision of warming and eco-powering the Deep South. Its core business is installing insulation and energy efficient heating, including solar, into homes, farms, community buildings and commercial sites throughout Southland and parts of Central Otago. Education has been a vital component, including home visits and coaching families in energy efficiency. Sumaria delivers workshops to community groups, and recently co-facilitated with He Iwi Kotahi Trust, supported by Community Energy Network, a kaupapa Maori-driven programme to 80 Whanau Ora navigators, partnering with Te Putahitanga. Awarua Synergy has partnered with Te Puni Kokiri to deliver emergency housing repair workshops, and has worked on Papa Kainga feasibility, this funding has been secured with the outcome delivery of six kaumatua flats based at Te Rau Aroha Marae, in Bluff. Awarua Synergy has recently completed a strategic plan for the next five years, with an eye to further diversifying its services.
Anna Berka (PhD) is a Lecturer in climate change, sustainability and policy at Massey Business School. She holds degrees in environmental science, policy and economics and has a consulting background in social entrepreneurship and impact evaluation in the UK energy sector. She works on effective climate change governance in relation to risk, inclusivity (social justice) and innovation, using country comparative studies to draw best lessons for policy and practice. She has published on impact assessment, research methods, grassroots innovation, energy transitions, and low carbon innovation policy.
Daniel Brown is a Principal Advisor at the Ministry of Business Innovation, and Employment – working primarily on renewable energy and Resource Management Act projects. He has degrees in Law and Geography and a Masters in Regional and Resource Planning from the University of Otago.
Dallas Rangi Butler is of Te Whanau-ā-Apanui descent and a professional executive. He is a champion for an inclusive leadership culture - believing the best results are achieved through bringing everyone on the journey.
Dallas has been General Manager and Managing Director of Xtreme Zero Waste, based out at Whaingaroa Raglan. One of the core missions for this role has been melding community enterprise values with solid commercial considerations. Xtreme Zero Waste has recently become a CEN member and with Dallas leading the charge, is looking to broaden their impact working alongside the community.
John Campbell leads Our Energy, the creator and designer of an online platform for people and communities producing their own electricity. Their software and service matches small-scale generators of clean energy with customers in their local communities in real time, providing an easy way to buy, sell and gift clean, local energy. Our Energy stands for a better, fairer, cleaner and more local energy future and his team are passionate about creating a world where community-driven energy is affordable, reliable and sustainable for all.
In 2015, a summertime run, a roadside box of butternut pumpkins, and a lifestyle block kitted out with solar panels and a small wind turbine led John to ask: if a farmer's pumpkins can be sold to the local community, why can't energy? A born, bred, well-travelled and returned Swedish speaker from Aotearoa NZ's stunning capital city, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, John has a varied career background that includes energy sector regulation, sales, stakeholder and project management, business development, and full-time parenting experiences. Outside of committed advocacy for more open, flexible and equal access electricity markets as a key part of NZ's transition to a low emissions economy, John is a long-time supporter of Wellington Phoenix FC, which has prepared him well for the ups and downs of leading an innovative team challenging the status quo.
Nina Campbell is a Senior Advisor on Policy and Engagement at EECA. As a behavioural scientist, Nina takes the lead on all things human-centered at EECA, including energy user behaviour, community energy and energy hardship projects. She also has a focus on evaluation, promoting an evidence-based approach to continuous improvement of EECA’s programmes. Prior to working at EECA, Nina spent 10 years in energy sector in Europe, primarily as an Analyst in the Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Unit at the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Gareth Cartwright is the Executive Officer for the Community Energy Network. The focus of CEN and its members for the last 20 years has been reducing energy hardship through provision of insulation, heating and education services. In the last 2 years, the focus has expanded and Gareth is now working with Keith Scoles and others in the sector to improve the engagement and ability of community organisations to develop community scale renewable energy systems. Gareth is the co-Chair of the Xtreme Zero Waste Trust Board based in Whaingaroa Raglan, which is looking to develop a community scale solar farm. Over the last 3 years, Gareth has also been in the Social Enterprise Sector Development Working Group, led by the Akina Foundation.
Professor Patrick Devine-Wright is an environmental social scientist who draws from disciplines such as Human Geography and Environmental Psychology, at the University of Exeter. He is the editor of ‘Public Engagement with Renewable Energy: From NIMBY to Participation’. Prof Devine-Wright specialises in researching significant, policy-relevant environmental problems using an interdisciplinary collaborative approach that is theoretically informed and has clear pathways to impact. He is a Lead Author for the IPCC Working Group III in the 6th Assessment Round contributing to a chapter on ‘Demand, Services and Social Aspects of Mitigation’, he is Chair of the Devon Net Zero Task Force.
Dr. Helen Haines is an MP and Independent Federal Member for Indi, Victoria. In her earlier professional career she was a nurse, midwife, health administrator and rural health researcher in Victoria’s North East for more than 32 years. She lives on a small beef farm in Wangaratta (Victoria), and is a strong advocate for a federal anti-corruption commission, strong climate action, rural infrastructure and health services within the Australian parliament. In September 2020, she published the Local Power Plan as a national policy framework to support community energy in regional Australia.
Bill Heaps is an independent director of the Consumer Energy Network (CEN) and Managing Director of Wellington based Strata Energy Consulting. Bill is an electrical engineer, business executive and company director with broad experience in major infrastructure and energy supply businesses. Bill has held senior executive and governance positions in the generation, transmission, distribution and retail businesses.
Chris Henderson is Canada’s pre-eminent Clean Energy Advisor to Indigenous communities. He advises Chiefs and Councils, Tribal Groups and Indigenous Economic Development Corporations on how to effectively secure and leverage partnership positions in clean energy projects across Canada. Chris also guides utilities, financial firms, corporations and governments on engaging and partnering with Indigenous communities. Chris has catalyzed clean energy projects in every Canadian province and territory. His book, Aboriginal Power, was published in 2013. Chris is Program Director and Lead Mentor with the Indigenous Clean Energy: 20/20 Catalysts Program, a major Lumos initiative strengthening First Nations, Metis and Inuit clean energy Community Readiness, Community Capacity and Leadership Skills.
Jarra Hicks (PhD) is the co-founder of the Community Power Agency, a not-for-profit worker’s cooperative that supports communities to participate in the renewable energy transition. She is motivated by the power that people are engaging everyday to make real contributions to the sustainability of their communities. She has co-founded and worked for a range of community organisations and social enterprises, from food to energy, advocacy to banking. Jarra’s academic work focuses on the potential for community energy projects to contribute positive social, economic and environmental outcomes for regional communities. It examines development processes, social enterprise models and diverse economic arrangements that community energy projects engage.
Robyn Holdaway is Group Manager of Public Policy and Vector, New Zealand’s largest electricity network and an energy solutions provider. Her role is to engage with Government and industry stakeholders to support the development of public policies which drive decarbonisation, resilience and energy affordability – and which enable Vector’s vision to Create a New Energy Future. This requires significant transformation through our energy systems – to unlock new value at the demand-side of energy supply chains and to design systems around customers through digital, decentralised and data analytics solutions. Robyn has a background in economic and social policy and service delivery strategy in Government and the private sector. She studied International Relations, Political Science and Philosophy with Hons (1st) in International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington.
Julie MacArthur (PhD) is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations and the Master of Public Policy program at the University of Auckland where she teaches environmental politics and public policy. She is the author of Empowering Electricity: Co-operatives, Sustainability and Power Sector Reform in Canada (UBC Press, 2016), as well as numerous articles and book chapters on sustainable community development, participatory environmental governance, and comparative energy policy. Dr MacArthur has won SSHRC and RSNZ Marsden Fund grants for her research on the contribution of community energy initiatives to climate change mitigation and local development. In 2016 she was a visiting researcher at the University College of Cork Cleaner Production Promotion Unit and at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Sustainable Community Development. Julie is also a researcher with the University of Auckland Energy Centre and the Vice-Chair of WISER (Women and Inclusivity in Sustainable Energy Research) Network.
Keith Scoles has over 40 years of experience in the energy sector in New Zealand and abroad – leading the engineering and capability building of community based solar projects in Afghanistan, Indonesia and throughout the Pacific has given him a passion for the benefits of Community Energy and seeing outcomes relating to energy poverty being progressed in NZ. Keith started as an engineering technician in the industry before moving to project and engineering management fields in the 1990 and has lead direct reports, consultants and clients in the delivery of a variety of technology based projects in the industry. More recently Keith was a founding staff member and Engineering Manager of Infratec a successful NZ renewable energy contractor before founding his own company PowerIt Fwd.
He was recently recognised for his expertise and experience after being nominated to become a Fellow of the internationally recognised UK-based Enery Institute by his peers in the industry. He is has Interim Charted Engineer by the Engineering Council and currently pursuing his full qualification as a Chartered Engineer. Keith sees his adaptability and depth of technical knowledge of the industry and new technologies as a valuable asset to assist with driving both the community space and the industry forward into a new future and through PowerIt Fwd has partnered with Community Energy Network (CEN) to work toward establishing community energy as a thriving sector in New Zealand Aotearoa.
Leigh Ramsay is New Zealand's foremost expert on Emulsified Fuel and producing "fit for purpose" liquid fuels from local feed stocks. He also has expertise in recovering energy from end of life products via Blended Fuels Solution NZ and Nufuels of which he is MD. He is also Chair of Energise Otaki which is a charitable trust and aims to reduce energy poverty and improve energy efficiency within the town. Energise Otaki has just opened New Zealand’s first community owned solar farm where the proceeds of the “behind the meter” system go back to the community for energy projects
Afsheen Rashid is Co-founder and CEO of Repowering London and Chair of the Brixton Energy Solar Co-operatives the UK’s first inner-city community-owned solar power stations. Afsheen is also Chair of Community Energy England and remains influential in both local and national community energy decision making. Prior to Repowering’s foundation, Afsheen pioneered Lambeth Council’s Community Energy Programme and she was also previously a Senior Policy Advisor at DECC. She was instrumental in setting up the Muslim Women’s Collective in Tower Hamlets that seeks to empower women to play an active role in improving the environment. Afsheen has a MA in Geography and MEnv in Environment, Science and Society. Afsheen was awarded an MBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours List for her work in renewable energy in deprived London communities.
Karen Sherry QSM,BA, MA (Hons), LLB (Hons), C.FInstD
Karen is a director and shareholder of the legal firm Donnell Sherry Ltd where she specialises in commercial and trust law. Karen was first elected to Entrust (formerly Auckland Energy Consumer Trust) in 1994 and is the longest serving trustee and a former chair of the trust. She was one of two trustees appointed to the Vector Board to represent Entrust’s interest from 2006 to September 2019. Karen is also the chair of Energy Trusts of New Zealand Inc and a director of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. She is also a chartered fellow of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.
Scott Willis is General Manager of Blueskin Energy Ltd, a charitable company wholly owned by the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust. Over the past 12 years Scott has worked in the community sector to create climate solutions through energy literacy, energy efficiency and innovation in community energy with a special interest in the democratization of our electricity sector. He is Chairperson of the Energy Committee at the Otago Chamber of Commerce, Secretary of the Cosy Homes Trust in Dunedin and is a regular contributor to the Otago Daily Times on climate and energy issues. Scott is also a member of the Innovation and Participation Advisory Group at the Electricity Authority.
Dr Julie MacArthur
Senior Lecturer | MPP Co-ordinator
Politics and International Relations | University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142 | New Zealand | +64 9 923 8094 | Research Profile
Canada's Green New Deal: Forging the socio-political foundations of climate resilient infrastructure? (ERSS 2020); Explaining inclusivity in energy transitions: Local and community energy in Aotearoa New Zealand (Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 2020); The Infrastructure for Electricity: A Technical Overview (Oxford Handbook of Energy Politics, 2019)