Members of the Board of the Authority are appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister, following consideration of names received in response to a public call for nominations.
Although appointed in response to nominations, in their official capacity members do not represent the interests of any particular group, and act independently.
Members are recommended for appointment on the basis of ensuring a spread of experience and capability relating to the electricity industry, consumer issues and business generally.
Currently the Board has five members.
Dr Brent Layton (Chairperson)
Dr Layton is a former senior fellow and chief executive of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER). He has been a director or chairman of organisations in sectors as diverse as banking and finance, health, scientific research, electricity, food processing, transport and information technology.
As a consultant, Dr Layton's work has spanned macro and microeconomics and corporate finance. Much of his work has involved regulatory economics and responses to regulatory change.
Dr Layton also chaired the Electricity Technical Advisory Group (ETAG) that, with the assistance of the Ministry of Economic Development, undertook the 2009 Ministerial Review of the electricity sector.
Mr Bull's experience in the New Zealand electricity system includes 21 years as a power system engineer at the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ) and predecessor organisations, and more recently a term as a board member of the Electricity Commission.
He is experienced in central government processes and stakeholder and community relationships, with five years as General Manager responsible for Local Government and Community Services in the Department of Internal Affairs and 15 years as a Wellington City Councillor or Wellington Regional Councillor.
Mr Bull's governance and commercial experience includes chairing numerous city and regional council committees. He was previously a board member of the New Zealand Fire Service, Wellington Polytechnic Council, and Wellington International Airport Ltd.
Ms Paterson has been a professional director for the past 15 years, and has broad experience in business and management. Currently, she is Chair of the Airways Corporation and Chair of Theta Systems Ltd, with other current directorships including Housing NZ, Goodman Property Trust, and Les Mills NZ Ltd.
She has held directorships at Transpower, EECA, Ngawha Generation, Abano Healthcare Ltd, Auckland Regional Holdings, and Ports of Auckland. Ms Paterson also worked as Project Director for the Wholesale Electricity Market Development Group (WEMDG), which led to the establishment of the wholesale electricity market in 1996.
Hon Roger Sowry ONZM
Mr Sowry has extensive experience in the public sector and across a wide range of issues, and served on the board of the Electricity Commission.
He was a Member of Parliament from 1990 to 2005. From 1996 to 1999 he was Minister of Social Welfare and Associate Minister of Health. When he retired from Parliament in 2005, he became Chief Executive of Arthritis New Zealand.
Mr Sowry is currently a private consultant with Saunders Unsworth, specialising in the management of public policy issues. He is also Chair of the WELTEC and Whitireia Polytechnic Councils, and is a director of CityLink.
Elena Trout has extensive experience as a manager, project director, consultant, and company director. She has specialised in change management, asset management, contract procurement, and major project development and implementation.
Ms Trout's experience of the New Zealand electricity sector and its governance comes from almost six years as a director of Transpower. She is also currently an elected member of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) board.
Terms of Appointments
David Bull and the Hon Roger Sowry have been reappointed to the Electricity Authority Board for five-year terms effective from 1 June 2012. The other members of the Authority Board have five-year terms effective from 1 November 2010.