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We are excited to have an extensive line-up of quality speakers, panellists and facilitators sharing their achievements, insights, visions and plans for New Zealand’s geothermal industry, many of whom are world-class in their field.

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Kirsten Patterson, Chief Executive, Institute of Directors

Kirsten Patterson (known as KP) is the Institute of Directors Chief Executive. She is a qualified lawyer and a Distinguished Fellow of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand, member of the Executive Committee of the Global Network of Directors Institutes (GNDI) and was previously Chair of the Wellington Homeless Women’s Trust. She is currently Chair of the Brian Picot Ethical Leadership Advisory Board. With extensive governance and leadership experience, she is actively involved in community initiatives. A strong advocate of diversity, KP was one of the founding members of Global Women’s ‘Champions for Change’, a group of senior executives and directors who commit to diversity in the workplace. She is also a founding member of WiSPA, an organisation promoting women in sport, and mentors a number of business leaders.


Andrew Caseley, Chief Executive, EECA

Andrew has been the Chief Executive at EECA since 2017. Previously he was the NZ Managing Director for MWH (now Stantec), a global engineering and environmental consultancy, and CEO of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council for 13 years. Andrew has a commerce degree with an accounting major and is a Companion Member of Engineering New Zealand


Hon Dr Megan Woods

Hon Megan Woods is a Christchurch local, and has been the Member of Parliament for Wigram since 2011. Megan is the Minister of Housing, Minister of Energy and Resources, and Minister of Building and Construction, alongside Associate Minister of Finance.  Since being sworn in as a Minister of the Crown following the 2017 election, Megan has also held the ministerial portfolios for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, and Research, Science and Innovation.

Prior to becoming a Member of Parliament, Megan worked as a Business Manager at Plant & Food Research. She holds a PhD in New Zealand history from the University of Canterbury. In between a busy schedule, Megan enjoys watching cricket, rugby and spending her free time with friends and family.

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Cristiano Marantes, Chief Executive, Ara Ake

Dr Cristiano Marantes is the Chief Executive of Ara Ake, a role he started in September 2020. Cristiano is a highly experienced energy sector executive with an extensive engineering background and an informed worldview on the potential of technologies and business opportunities that will likely emerge in a low emissions energy future. He has a life-long passion for enabling this future, through strong leadership, innovation and knowledge of new low emissions energy solutions.

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Rod Oram, Business journalist & Author

Business journalist Rod Oram contributes weekly to Newsroom and Newstalk ZB. He is a public speaker on deep sustainability, business, economics, and innovation. Rod is a member of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, which brings together people from here and abroad who seek to contribute to global change from Aotearoa. Rod’s climate journalism has been recognised in the Global 2022 Covering Climate Now Awards. He received an Honourable Mention in the commentary category, with the judges saying: “With humour, crisp writing, and thorough analysis, Oram guides the reader through the many players and agendas behind the climate pledges by corporations.” In Citigroup’s annual global journalism awards, Rod was the winner in 2019 in the General Business category in the Australia and NZ region for his columns in Newsroom on Fonterra; and he was the NZ Journalist of the year. In the New Zealand Shareholders’ Association Business Journalism Awards, Rod won the Business Commentary category in 2018 and 2020 for his Newsroom columns. Rod was a founding trustee and the second chairman of Ākina Foundation, which helps social enterprises develop their business models in areas of sustainability. He remains actively involved with the foundation and the ventures it supports. In 2016, Bridget Williams Books published Rod’s most recent book, Three Cities: Seeking Hope in the Anthropocene. In 2020, Rod contributed a chapter to 100% Pure Future: New Zealand Tourism Renewed. In 2021, Rod contributed a chapter on land use, agriculture and food to Climate Aotearoa: What’s happening and what we can do about. This collection of essays was edited by Helen Clark, the former NZ Prime Minister and head of the United Nations Development Programme, and published by Allen & Unwin.


Tony Lyall, TV Presenter & comedian 

Tony Lyall is one of New Zealand's most exciting comedians. Having performed up and down the country, Tony's mix of high energy storytelling, off the cuff crowd work and general good times vibe makes him a crowd favourite on any stage he appears on. Along with being a stand up comedian, Tony is the head writer and a reporter on The Project, writes for 7 Days and recently appeared in the NZ International Comedy Festival Gala on TVNZ. He has performed 4 solo hours as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival and toured those shows to various cities in NZ. He has also interviewed some of the biggest celebrities on the planet, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Peter Dinklage, John Cena, Hugh Jackman and the cast of Jackass to name just a few. Tony's MC work has taken him to various sports events around the country. He is the regular Match Day MC for the Black Caps and New Zealand Cricket, and has MCed for both Wellington Cricket and the Blues Rugby Club. Originally from Blenheim in the South Island, Tony now lives in West Auckland with his wife, three kids and his Mazda Demio.

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Dave Binnie, General Manager - Energy, Tuaropaki Trust

David brings over 30 years of experience in the global energy industry to his role of GM energy at Tuaropaki Trust.  He is accountable for providing strategic and operational leadership of the Trust’s energy portfolio, currently geothermal and hydrogen, maximizing short-term profitability and long-term sustainable value growth.  David has key strategic and operational leadership strengths, including low carbon energy, international contract negotiations, and significant project development, which support the Trust’s pursuit of future opportunities in the energy sector.  Dave also has experience working with and for governments promoting economic development and improving Health, Safety & Environmental sustainability.  Dave and his family moved from Scotland in 2011 to live in Aotearoa.  Outside of work David is a passionate guitar player and finds any opportunity to play.  He also takes every chance to enjoy Aotearoa’s outdoors be it diving, hunting or fishing Dave says, “I am inspired by what the Tuaropaki Trust has achieved and am honored to be given the chance to build on that legacy”   “A year ago, I committed to making my biggest contribution to addressing climate change and transforming our energy sector.  I knew that I had to find a team that had similar values to me with an aspiration to make a sustainable difference for decades to come and I’m happy to say, I have found that team

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Steve Rotherham, Energy News Editor

Steve grew up in Christchurch but has spent three decades in Australia. He was previously editor of Perth-based (now Energy News Bulletin) and Petroleum Magazine. He has also held senior communications roles with the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association and the Australian Automobile Association.


Stephen Jay, General Manager Operations, Transpower

Stephen currently holds the role of Executive General Manager - Operations for Transpower, New Zealand. Stephen is accountable for the real time operation of both the transmission grid and operation/security of the electricity market. Stephen was appointed to this role in 2020, having previously held the role of Executive General Manager Grid Development since 2014. 

Stephen is an enthusiastic leader and professional engineer with more than 30 years’ experience of generation, transmission, distribution, and market systems, including engineering, asset management, market design, and regulatory instruments. He has had a varied career within the electricity industry, including roles with the C.E.G.B, National Power, Nuclear Electric, Midlands Electricity Plc, Parsons Brinckerhoff Power, Meridian Energy, Mitton ElectroNet, and the investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. 

Stephen has a BEng in Electromechanical engineering, an MBA, an engineering based PhD, and is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of IPENZ (NZ) and the IET (UK).


Paul Gapper, Executive Director, NZSSDA

Paul was appointed as the Executive Director of NZSSDA in October 2021, after previously serving a number of years on the executive committee. He has over 40 years active involvement in the stainless steel industry, with industry roles in both NZ and Australia.

After completing a Bachelor of Technology at Massey in Industrial Management and Engineering, he found himself early on involved in the stainless steel industry based in both Hamilton and Auckland, and has largely remained within the industry since.

With the world focus on carbon emissions, recyclability and sustainability, stainless steel as a material of choice is ideally placed to offer long term solutions beyond traditional NZ end-uses such as dairy, food and marine.


Ankur Arora, Product Manager, Nikkiso Cryo Corp

Ankur Arora has been recently appointed as Product Manager at Nikkiso Cryo Corp and is responsible for Nikkiso Expander Application and Technology (NEAT). Ankur has more than 20 years of experience working with MNCs in renewable energy business areas across all continents, including but not limited to natural gas applications, with a current focus on developing Turbo Expander applications, including geothermal, ORC, and Waste Heat Recovery applications.


An alumnus of the University of Otago MBA and currently pursuing a Doctorate with Otago Uni (DBA) program focused on circular economy and alternate fuels with mechanical engineering background wish to contribute to a carbon zero future. 


Andrea ‘Andy’ Blair, President, International Geothermal Association

Andy is the President of the International Geothermal Association (The Netherlands) and co-founder of Upflow, a NZ based geothermal science, research and innovation company that builds expert teams to provide intelligent solutions to global industry. The nexus between science, business and community is where her expertise sits. She has a deep understanding of the drivers relating to the business of science, and a proven ability to turn scientific ideas into economic gains.

In her previous role as Business Development Manager at GNS Science (NZ) Andy was responsible for leading and coordinating sub-surface geothermal geoscience contracts worldwide for over 10 years. Awarded the role of Geothermal Business Development Lead for New Zealand (2017-2020), Andy was tasked with driving commercial investment in geothermal industrial direct use projects. The desired outcome was the development of large projects with significant positive impacts on local economies, communities, and the environment.

Andy has experience in leading strategic planning and tactical thinking across several industries including governance roles that required strategic investment decision making. Co-founder (2013), previous Global Chair (2013-2020) and current Global Board member for of Women in Geothermal (WING). Andy led the team that grew the organisation from 83 members to over 2500 members in 48 countries worldwide, making it the single largest geothermal association in the world. A not-for-profit organisation, WING has grown into a global movement of people, both men and woman, supporting the empowerment and advancement of women within the industry.  Andy has held a number of governance roles including Director, Geothermal Resources Association (US); Co-Chair Regional Skills Leadership Group – Bay of Plenty;  and Chair, Bay of Connections (Regional Economic Development Agency). Andy is the current Chair for online accountancy innovation company Beany (NZ) and Board Member for diversity champions Global Women (NZ).

Andy was a finalist in the 2017 and 2019 NZ Women of Influence Awards for both the Diversity and International Categories.


Ben Radsall, Professional Services Manager, MB Century

Ben has worked in a variety of engineering roles within energy-related industries, with a large portion of his career spent in the offshore marine industry working on power generation and environmental projects. He has wealth of experience in business development internationally.

Ben has been with MB Century since 2018 and joined the Senior Management Team in 2020 and is responsible for building the capabilities of the Professional Services team delivering the engineering, design, draughting and tendering functions of the business.

Since moving from Brighton (UK) in 2018 he has explored much of New Zealand and competed in various trail running and multisport races including the one-day Coast to Coast race. Ben now spends his time nurturing adventure into his young daughter.


Dr. Isabelle Chambefort, Senior Geothermal Geoscientist, GNS Science

Dr Isabelle Chambefort is a senior Hydrothermal Geoscientist at GNS Science Wairakei Research Centre. Isabelle has over 20 years of experience in research in magmatic-hydrothermal systems in volcanic arcs. Prior to joining GNS Science in 2010, Isabelle’s research focused on epithermal and porphyry Au-Cu deposits and magmatic volatiles in Switzerland, USA and Australia. She is currently leading the MBIE Endeavour Research Programme Geothermal: The Next Generation that investigates supercritical geothermal resources in the Taupō Volcanic Zone. She is also the principal investigator of a Marsden Programme Superhot Fluids: The origin and flux of natural greenhouse gases in volcanic areas, looking at the source and pathway of CO2 and noble gas from magmas to the geothermal surface features.

Isabelle did her Masters in France at the University of Clermont Ferrand and received her PhD from the University of Geneva, Switzerland.


Lee Astridge, No.8HR

Lee Astridge is the founder of No.8HR, a specialist recruitment and human resources business operating in the Australasian agribusiness sector.  As a ‘performance and strategy’ coach Lee is passionate and committed to helping business owners achieve better bottom line performance through effective people strategies.   


She has over 25 years’ experience in strategic HR and people development roles which includes global experience gained in a range of positions including senior leadership, management and technical specialist in-house roles.  Lee also advises to a number of governance and operational boards across a variety of businesses.  


Although proudly ‘a generalist,’ her time most recently has been with clients focused on organisational  strategy, design, and culture change, alongside management and leadership capability analysis and development.


Lee is a professional member of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand and holds tertiary management and HR qualifications.  She has built a reputation as motivational facilitator who challenges clients to identify new insights and consider new paradigms for themselves, their teams and their businesses.


Te Wikitoria (Blandina) Diamond, Project Director, He Ahi

Blandina is the Project Director for He Ahi on behalf of Te Pae o Waimihia – a Trust that represents the interest of six mana whenua hapū of the Taupō township area.  He Ahi is best described as both a Clean Energy Park and an Eco-Industrial Park being developed on 45 hectares of whenua in a prime location with existing geothermal infrastructure and geothermal supply. Blandina is also the Project Manager for the adjacent whenua project, He Tipu – a 25 hectare enterprise park focused on social, environmental and culture ventures that again will be harnessing the power of Clean Energy.

Blandina is the Managing Director of her very own consulting Te Wikitoria Ltd, a consulting and contracting company that delivers support and service for projects, business and governance within both private, commercial or charitable contexts. Blandina also works as the Strategist and Programme Manager for Tūwharetoa Settlement Trust’s affordable homes strategy.

Before creating her own business Blandina worked 10 years in the commercial sector in logistic, supply chain and leadership roles within Martin Brower, Tegel Foods Ltd, Australasia’s leading steelmaker ‘Bluescope’, and the largest contractor to the US Defence Force, Lockheed Martin. 

Blandina also served 20 years as a NZ Military officer specializing in Supply Chain, Strategy, Operations and Training design and delivery. She proudly served in West Africa and East Timor and has trained with the US, British, Australian, Malaysian and Singaporean Forces. 

Blandina has also written a book in memory of her mother, which tells many stories of life-lessons between the two of them. Blandina spends much of her private time in volunteer work with her hapū and iwi focusing on retaining the Māori culture, protecting their assets and rights and helping whānau with their businesses. 


Pramesh Maharaj, Senior Account Manager, EECA

Pramesh Maharaj has over 20 years of energy related experience working across New Zealand manufacturing companies such as NZ Sugar, Evonik Peroxide, Natural Gas Corporation and Carter Holt Harvey(OJI Fibre Solutions) 


Pramesh has lead various teams and programmes to reduce energy wastage in the business sector and increasing the use of renewable energy. Pramesh has worked in heavy industry and provides expert energy efficiency advice and support to process heat industries such as pulp and paper, steel and chemical plants, cement works, milk processing plants, including sugar refining and glass manufacturing and covered cropping.  

Pramesh holds a degree in Chemical and Process engineering, and an MBA business degree. 


He was General Manager for a LPG subsidiary at Natural Gas Corporation, and then business development manager at Carter Holt Harvey creating markets for wood fuels. He is a co-founder of a renewable bio-energy company called Living Energy Ltd.


Pramesh has developed various best practice guides on process heat efficiency and fuel switching opportunities and enjoys working with businesses to reduce their use of fossil fuels. 


John Worth, CEO and Managing Director, Geo40

Sustainably and profitably recovering future minerals from geothermal fluids is a very unique challenge, and John notes that, “the opportunity to take a nascent set of technologies and to develop a team to appropriately reward the belief of our shareholders is exciting indeed.”

John has worked extensively in energy across geothermal, wind, wave and solar disciplines and holds bachelors and masters degrees in engineering and management and has undertaken post-graduate and executive studies at Oxford, Harvard and Auckland.

He is a Chartered Engineer, contributes to a number of boards, and in his spare time coaches junior rugby, swims and surfs and is an occasional surf lifeguard.


Kirstin Mead, Navigator Lead, Callaghan Innovation

Kirstin is the Customer Navigation Lead at Callaghan Innovation. She strives to ensure all customers of Callaghan Innovation have an experience worth sharing. Her day to day gives her access to the best and brightest innovative companies in Aotearoa; an incredible privilege that makes going to work an epic learning journey every day. Kirstin will share Callaghan Innovation's role in the innovation ecosystem, focusing on the products and support Callaghan Innovation can provide. 


Lachlan Nixon, Principal, Pacific Channel

Lachlan is passionate about working with people to create value and impact from technology. At local venture capital firm Pacific Channel, Lachlan is an integral member of the investment team working to make significant investments into kiwi ‘deep-tech’ start-up companies. Lachlan has made several successful investments during his time at Pacific Channel including Quantifi Photonics, OPUM Technologies, NZeno, A1 and clean-tech companies Cetogenix and Hot Lime Labs.


Bruce Smith, Co-founder, Eko 360 Smartfert™ and Tnue™ 

Bruce grew up on Aotearoa Station, a large sheep and beef farm in the King Country. He has a long career in agribusiness both in corporate roles, such as BASF,  and in entrepreneurial ventures. 

Bruce has the deep knowledge of the science around controlled released membrane technology and its application to fertiliser. 

By tailoring the controlled release of nitrogen fertiliser to be in line with the plant demand, the efficiency of the nitrogen is greatly increased. Therefore losses of nitrogen as greenhouse gas to the atmosphere and nitrate leaching to waterways is significantly reduced.

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Craig Stephenson, Commercial Development Manager, Contact Energy LTD

Craig Stephenson is a Commercial Development Manager with Contact Energy Limited, specializing in geothermal direct use projects in the Central North Island of New Zealand. 


Contact Energy (CEN.NZ) is a publicly listed company on the New Zealand Stock Exchange NZX. They are one of New Zealand’s largest energy companies and is a world leader in the utilisation of geothermal energy.  Contact operates a fleet of thermal (natural gas), hydro and geothermal power stations, and has invested over US$1.2B in renewable energy projects (primarily geothermal) over the last five years.

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Jonathan Young, Head of Policy, Research & Insights, Ara Ake

Jonathan Young is Head of Policy, Research and Insights at Ara Ake, New Zealand’s future energy centre. Through his previous Parliamentary role as Energy & Resources Spokesperson, Jonathan gained a depth of knowledge and understanding of New Zealand’s integrated energy system and energy systems further abroad. He is passionate about a low emissions energy future, with a strong focus on innovation and insights, and building connections to respond to the challenges of the transition.


Dr Jez Weston, Partner, Climate VC Fund

Dr Jez Weston is a Partner at the Climate VC Fund, run by 2040 Ventures. Originally a metallurgist, he has long experience in climate policy and science, commercialisation, and public and private investment into innovation. He managed the Commercialisation Partner Network and the PreSeed Accelerator Fund for MBIE. He is an Investment Committee member for Return on Science and Deputy & Operations Manager for KnowYourStuffNZ.

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Brian Carey, Geothermal Resource Management Specialist, GNS Science

Brian Carey has been a Geothermal Specialist with GNS Science since 2007, and is a Mechanical Engineer by training.  Geothermal energy is a special gift that New Zealand has been endowed with and I have been privileged to be associated with, both geothermal electricity generation and Geoheat, geothermal industrial process heat.  Both of these  can contribute even more now as we move to “net zero” carbon before 2050.  The New Zealand Geothermal Association Geoheat Strategy and associated Action Plans seek to further foster the uptake of renewable low carbon geothermal energy powering industrial and large commercial enterprise.  The Strategy and plans can be accessed through  I am looking forward to meeting you at the Bay of Connections Decarbonising Industry seminar.


Contact Us

NZ Geothermal Week is proudly brought to you by Amplify and event week sponsors, partners and hosts.

If you are interested in getting involved, including sponsorship, hosting and speaking opportunities, or have a query about the events, please contact Fiona Miller, Geothermal Cluster Lead at Amplify.

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