Our people

Designing and operating New Zealand’s electricity system takes great people. Our team is made up of around 120 staff who are led by our Board, Chief Executive and senior leadership team.

Our governance and management

The Electricity Authority is governed by a Board who are appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendations of the Minister of Energy and Resources, following a public call for nominations.

Our Chief Executive and senior leadership team lead a team of 110 – and we're growing. Each staff member plays a vital role in championing our values, vision and success.

Our Board

Our Board members bring a wealth of governance and business development expertise, as well as extensive experience in energy, utilities, infrastructure, environment, engineering, law and finance.

Anna Kominik

Chair

Anna is an experienced business leader who has worked for a wide variety of public and private sector organisations during the course of her career, including as the former Asia Pacific Director of Wisk, part of an international organisation developing a world-first, all-electric, self-flying air taxi. She is currently Chair of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship and Hillary Institute, a director of Dawn Aerospace and advises in the New Zealand aviation and aerospace sector.

Anna holds a Master’s degree from Northwestern University, Chicago, where she was a Rotary International Scholar, has a Certificate of Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Stanford University, and was a Commonwealth Foundation Emerging Pacific Leader.

Allan Dawson

Allan is a global energy market expert with an extensive background in energy regulation, market development and market operations in multiple jurisdictions. 

He formerly served as Chief Executive of the energy market operator/regulator in Western Australia (Independent Market Operator) and Singapore (Energy Market Company). 

Allan was a senior member of the team responsible for Market Operations during the development, implementation and operation of New Zealand's Electricity market rules and arrangements in the 1990s. 

Allan has previously chaired the Association of Power Exchanges (6 years) - a global member organisation representing the interests of over 50 electricity market operators/regulators. He has strong industry governance experience as Chair of Governance Board's, in both electricity and gas markets, in Singapore and Western Australia.

Since returning to New Zealand, Allan has been appointed as Chair of Arlo Software Ltd, Chair of OnFarm Solutions Ltd, and appointed to the Board of Montoux Ltd and Winnow Software Ltd.

Dr Cristiano Marantes

Cristiano has a comprehensive background in the international energy sector. He has extensive experience in energy innovation and the adoption of new low-emissions energy solutions.

He is Chief Executive of Ara Ake, New Zealand’s Future Energy Centre, which he has led since August 2020. Prior to that he held senior roles at Vector Limited and UK Power Networks. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering from the University of Manchester.

Cristiano was appointed to our Board for a five-year term from 1 July 2023.

Paula Rose

Paula is a Canterbury-based director with a background in regulatory organisations in governance, management, policy and practitioner roles. She has over a decade of experience in Crown and non-profit organisations.

Paula's current roles include Deputy Chief Commissioner Te Kāhui Tātare Turi | Criminal Cases Review Commission; Commissioner Te Kōminhana Tirotiro Aituā Waka | Transport Accident Investigation Commission; and a member of Kāhui Whakamana Tauwhiro | Social Workers Registration Board. As a volunteer, Paula holds a number of roles with St John and is currently a member of the St John Priory Board.

Paula was appointed to our Board on 16 January 2023 for a five-year term.

Lana Stockman

Lana has recently returned to New Zealand from Australia, where she was Vice President Regulation at Aurizon Network, a top-50 ASX listed company offering rail and road based freight and infrastructure solutions.

Lana was also a General Manager at Energy Australia, a Board member of the Electricity Retailers Association of Australia, and a member of the Ministerial Advisory Council on smart meters in Victoria.  

Lana has experience in the New Zealand electricity industry, including as an advisor to the Electricity Authority and its predecessor the Electricity Commission.

She is degree qualified in both engineering and finance and, coupled with a broad energy market experience, brings fresh thinking and strong leadership, communication and relationship management skills.

Erik Westergaard

Erik is an electricity market and energy sector regulatory specialist who has been closely involved in the establishment and ongoing development of electricity market arrangements in several countries. His work has included reviewing market arrangements to ensure that the electricity market delivered the expected benefits to consumers.

Erik was appointed by the Minister of Energy and Resources to act as Specialist Technical Advisor on the investigation into the 9 August 2021 power outages and was a member of the Security and Reliability Council for six years.

Erik has held a number of senior positions within industry participants and large international consulting firms. He is currently an independent consultant.

Erik was appointed to our Board on 16 January 2023 for a five-year term.

Our Board has established an Audit and Finance Committee, Compliance Committee and System Operations Committee.

View our Board's committees

We have three main advisory and technical groups who provide specialist independent advice and recommendations on the electricity industry to our Board.

View our advisory and technical groups

Our senior leadership team

Members of our senior leadership team are experts in policy, economics, law, strategy, finance and communications.

Sarah Gillies

Chief Executive

Sarah Gillies was appointed Chief Executive of the Electricity Authority in December 2022.

Previously, Sarah was General Manager Legal, Monitoring and Compliance at the Electricity Authority.

Prior to this, Sarah was the Executive General Counsel International at CoreLogic, where she led the legal and risk team for their international activities (Australia, New Zealand and the UK). She has also held other roles where she was accountable for strategy, stakeholder management, and driving business performance and culture for CoreLogic’s New Zealand operations.

From 2005-12, Sarah held various senior counsel roles in Spark’s legal team, including in the Regulatory and Competition legal team. She has also spent time in private practice at two large national law firms.

Sarah holds an LLB (Hons), a BSc and a Postgraduate Certificate in Management.

Sally Aitken

General Manager, Strategic Communications and Engagement

Sally leads our Communications and Engagement team.  

Timely, clear and purposeful communication and engagement is critical to the impact of the Electricity Authority as New Zealand's electricity regulator.

A seasoned public servant and senior manager, Sally is passionate about making an impact and contributing to improved outcomes for all New Zealanders.  

Sally has extensive experience as a leader, communications professional and strategic advisor. She has previously worked in immigration, education, agriculture, economics and health.

Mark Herring

General Manager, Corporate and Market Services

Mark leads our Corporate and Market Services. This team is responsible for our service providers who operate the electricity market efficiently and facilitate market development, and for internal functions including procurement, planning and reporting, finance, IT, risk and assurance.

Prior to joining the Electricity Authority, Mark was Group Manager for Markets and Business at Transpower New Zealand, where he led market policy, security of supply, regulation, reporting and change delivery.

Mark has also worked in a variety of leadership roles for the UK’s National Grid across functions including strategy, innovation, and code change. He brings strategic experience, stakeholder management skills and an extensive industry background to the role.

Airihi Mahuika

General Manager, Legal, Monitoring and Compliance

Airihi leads our Legal, Monitoring and Compliance teams.

Alongside other diverse legal roles, Airihi has extensive experience in infrastructure and economic regulation, having worked for both regulators and regulated companies across the electricity, transport and telecommunications sectors. She has previously held senior leadership roles in both the public service and commercial organisations.

Born in Tairāwhiti, Airihi is from Ngāti Porou.

Andrew Millar

General Manager, Market Policy

Andrew leads our Market Policy group, which is responsible for developing policy across the electricity markets to enhance competition for the long-term benefit of consumers. This team is also responsible for data management, modelling and the Electricity Market Information website.

Andrew has extensive experience in public policy with a particular interest in using new and innovative models of policy development to help resolve difficult policy problems.

Prior to joining the Electricity Authority, Andrew was a Managing Principal at MartinJenkins. He has also worked for over 10 years in a number of government agencies as both a policy adviser and a policy manager. This included roles with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry for the Environment, and the former Department of Building and Housing.

Andrew has specialised skills in climate, energy and natural resources policy. He has worked on domestic and international climate change issues, on upstream and downstream energy policy development, and on marine policy.

Andy holds a Master of Arts in Ancient History (first class honours) and postgraduate qualification in Public Policy.

Tim Sparks

Director, Network Pricing

Tim leads our Networking Pricing Directorate, responsible for improving price signals for the distribution and transmission segments of the electricity supply chain.

Pricing affects how consumers use electricity, and is a key mechanism for achieving an optimal combination of new technologies, and transmission and network investment in the right places, to service an anticipated substantial increase in load.

Under our low-emissions energy ambitions, Tim is tasked with implementing price signals that facilitate the lowest overall cost to consumers. This includes promoting efficient investment in, and operation of, energy technology and demand-side flexibility.

Previously, Tim held roles at Chorus and Opus and provided technical advice to the Electricity Authority during the development of the Transmission Pricing Methodology guidelines.

Work for us

Help power Aotearoa! Electricity is essential to our lives and our economy. Join us as we support New Zealand's transition to a renewable future.
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