Who we are
Our purpose: Clean energy for a fairer and healthier world
We believe that by doing the right thing by people and the planet, we’re working to build a better future for our customers, communities, and environment.
What we do
All our electricity is generated from 100% renewable sources – wind, water and sun. Always will be.
Listed on both the NZX and ASX, the Meridian Group is one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies and employs around 1,000 people across New Zealand and Australia. The New Zealand Government is our majority shareholder at 51%.
All our electricity is generated from 100% renewable sources – wind, water and sun. We’re New Zealand’s largest electricity generator through our five wind farms, seven hydro power stations, and commercial solar arrays.
In Australia, we own two wind farms and three hydro power stations (Meridian Energy Australia).
Energy software and dam management
We have an energy retailing software company, Flux Federation, that operates in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. It’s also licensed to nPower in the UK.
We also own Dam Safety Intelligence, a dedicated group of engineers, scientists and geologists focused on the safe management of dams and other water infrastructure.
Our business model: how we create value
We own hydro power stations and wind farms that generate the electricity we sell into the wholesale market. We also purchase back electricity from the wholesale market to sell directly to customers.
Wholesale market prices can vary significantly in New Zealand depending on what technologies are able to generate electricity at any point in time. Prices can be significantly affected by rainfall, as well as gas availability. In the short to medium term, we manage this risk for our physical supply customers by offering fixed pricing. We also offer financial contracts to businesses that buy directly from the spot electricity market to limit their exposure to price variations. These contracts, plus a range of other financial instruments and forward contracts, also help control our commercial risks around price volatility and they smooth out our earnings across the year.
The wholesale market price is affected by the dynamics of supply and demand. If there is too much electricity available, the wholesale price goes down. If the oversupply persists, older, less economic generation plant may shut down in response. Alternatively, if demand for electricity is rising over time, the wholesale price will generally track up. If there isn’t enough generation to meet rising demand, the price for the available electricity goes up, improving the business case for investment in new power stations. The additional generation made possible by the investment in new plant restores the supply-demand balance and the price stabilises again.
There are a number of other factors that can affect the supply-demand balance. NZAS closing the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, for example, would reduce demand. Climate change also has the potential to increase or reduce supply, and to increase demand, because climate action regulations could increase electricity consumption through electric vehicles and electric boilers. Equally, the transition required to respond to climate change could lead to disruption of emissions-intensive industries, decreasing demand.
The ways in which we can sell our electricity and determine a price are controlled by the electricity market, and by the Government and regulators. As the main regulator in New Zealand, the Electricity Authority can also decide if our behaviour has been fair to our competitors and to our customers. We contribute to conversations on public policy to help ensure the markets we operate in are open, fair and efficient. We believe markets with these characteristics benefit consumers and enable our long-term success.
Great customer experience
Our customers in New Zealand and Australia are businesses, households and other electricity companies. Because there are so many retailers, we need to differentiate ourselves from our competitors with strong brands and by marketing through traditional media and digital channels. Meridian and Powershop Australia are attractive to customers because of our positioning as a leader in sustainability. This is demonstrated by our Group commitment to renewable electricity and climate action. Powershop New Zealand is attractive because it offers customers control over their energy usage and cost in a fun, irreverent and engaging way.
All our energy retailing brands have very short supply chains because the physical assets used to distribute electricity and meter its use are managed by national and local lines and metering companies. Our retail operations’ requirements are similar to those of many corporate offices. They include physical facilities and ICT, sales and marketing, billing and governance functions.
To operate our brands profitably we need to keep earning our customers’ loyalty by providing excellent experiences through our frontline service teams. Those teams and our customers rely on platforms like Flux to ensure they can interact smoothly and effectively. Flux also markets its software platform and the Powershop brand under licence in the UK.
Our ability to generate electricity safely and reliably is dependent on the quality of our assets and ICT systems, supported by highly skilled employees, suppliers and contractors. Our assets are maintained by Meridian staff (with some of our wind farms also maintained by third parties) who contract a range of local and global suppliers to provide us with the parts and components needed to build and maintain our generation assets; as a mix of general engineering consumable and specialist parts suppliers; and service providers including ICT and facilities management providers.
Because there are environmental implications around how we use our assets to generate renewable energy, we’re dependent on securing and maintaining resource consents. To do this we need to win and maintain the trust of stakeholders, ranging from Ngāi Tahu and other iwi to water users, local government and communities. We achieve this by making a long-term and deep commitment to the communities and areas in which we operate through engagement, employment and consultation on important issues such as water, biodiversity, environmental impact, local prosperity and long-term planning and environmental management. Without the buy-in of our people, stakeholder groups, communities and local government, we couldn’t operate our assets the way we do, which would materially affect our profitability and reduce the amount of renewable electricity available for Aotearoa’s power needs.
Our ability to attract and retain the right staff is central to our competitiveness in all our business activities, and is supported by a strong employer brand grounded in our purpose, values and behaviours, and how successful we are in creating a great place to work.
Finally, as a publicly listed company we are dependent on our investors having continued faith in our performance.
The money we make from the electricity we generate on the wholesale market, plus the margin we receive from our business and residential customers, combined with our skill in managing trading conditions, determines how much revenue we make in a year. A portion of that is then reinvested into our business to support our ongoing programme of work. The value of our shares is what the market perceives our company to be worth at any given point in time.
Our shareholders, including the Government (which holds a 51% share), earn money from their investments in us in two ways: from the dividend payments we make every year; and from the changes in our share price, which allow them to sell our shares when they are more valuable and potentially buy more shares when prices dip. No guarantee of our current or future share price is given or implied. We also have other investors in long-term funding arrangements with us. All our investors decide to invest based on their own knowledge, the information we share with them, and their own understanding of the markets. And investors want us to be able to tell them a strong and compelling story around our management of all the components that make up how we create value – our financial reserves, physical assets, technology platforms, our people, the relationships we have with a variety of stakeholders, and natural resources (particularly water) – which is why we produce an integrated report.
Neal Barclay was appointed as Chief Executive in January 2018.
Neal joined Meridian in 2008 as their Chief Financial Officer. He then moved into the position of General Manager Markets and Production where he was responsible for generation asset management and wholesale trading. Neal held this position until April 2016 when he was appointed General Manager Retail, responsible for Meridian and Powershop New Zealand’s customer sales, service and operations.
Before joining Meridian, Neal held a number of general manager and finance roles during a 13-year career with Telecom New Zealand Limited. Neal has an accounting background and is a qualified chartered accountant.
Chief Financial Officer
Mike Roan was appointed Chief Financial Officer in April 2019. Mike and his team are responsible for finance, strategy and IT functions at Meridian Energy. Before this appointment, Mike was General Manager of Wholesale, responsible for all wholesale market activities. He holds a Masters in Finance.
Mike originally joined Meridian in 2006 as a Strategy Analyst before moving into the wholesale side of the business in 2009 as Wholesale Markets Manager. Before joining Meridian, Mike was domiciled in the United States where he worked in a number of energy trading roles. He is a kiwi who, prior to the US, spent time working within the New Zealand electricity sector and banking.
Chief People Officer
Tania Palmer leads the People and Safety & Health Teams for Meridian.
Their job is to enable our people to create and deliver value, continue to advance the maturity of Meridian’s safety culture, and generally help our people to be awesome. Tania joined Meridian in June 2019 as Chief People Officer. She has strong experience in the electricity sector after spending six years as a member of Contact Energy’s Leadership Team – two years in the role of Chief People Officer and four years as General Manager Health, Safety & Environment.
As well as previously holding several senior Human Resources positions at Contact, Tania has a breadth of experience to share from running her own consulting business, leading people-related projects in many industry sectors. Tania is a graduate of Victoria University and started her career in the NZ Air Force before moving into the private sector.
General Manager Generation & Natural Resources
Guy Waipara (Rongowhakaata) was appointed to General Manager of Generation and Natural Resources in November 2017. Prior to this he was General Manager of Markets and Production from April 2016, and held the role of General Manager of External Relations from August 2010. Guy has held roles at Meridian in offshore business development and setting company strategy. He has over 25 years' experience in the electricity sector and previously worked at Transpower New Zealand Limited in roles responsible for transmission planning and network development.
Guy is responsible for generation asset management and operations in New Zealand and Australia. In New Zealand this generation asset portfolio includes seven hydro power stations and five wind farms that deliver around 30% of New Zealand’s electricity generation. In Australia, Meridian owns and operates two wind farms and three hydro stations. Guy's role also involves managing existing and future renewable projects.
Chief Customer Officer
Lisa Hannifin was appointed as Chief Customer Officer in November 2019. As General Manager of Meridian’s retail business, Lisa's role includes accountability for the Meridian and Powershop customer brands and the operational retail functions of the Meridian Group.
She brings rich experience and insight from a number of customer roles in her career, including a decade in the New Zealand electricity market.
During this time Lisa led the Sales and Service teams for Meridian as Head of Business and Residential, where she developed a reputation for her ability to think laterally, create and implement strategy, and drive transformational change.
Lisa holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Management from Lincoln University.
General Manager Wholesale
Chris Ewers was appointed General Manager Wholesale in August 2019.
Chris joined Meridian when it was formed in 1999. He was initially tasked with setting up Meridian’s spot electricity trading function, before undertaking a number of roles managing Meridian’s relationship with Transpower. In 2008, he returned to manage the spot trading team and subsequently, following the merger of the generation control function, spent 6 years as the Energy Trading Manager.
Before being appointed as General Manager Wholesale, Chris’s more recent role has involved working on the strategy side of the wholesale business as Meridian’s Portfolio Manager. Prior to Meridian, Chris worked three years for ECNZ across a number of engineering and commercial disciplines. He has extensive industry experience through his interactions across various roles, forums and advisory groups over the last 23 years.
Chief Executive, Flux Federation
Nic Kennedy was appointed Chief Executive of Flux Federation in June 2019.
Flux is a subsidiary of Meridian Energy. They imagine, design and build software, brands and experiences for utility companies and their customers all around the world. Before her appointment, Nic held the position of Chair of the Flux Board.
Prior to Flux, Nic was the Chief Innovation & Ventures Officer at PwC, leading teams building global technology and business solutions.
She has been the Chief Delivery Officer on the Executive team at Vend, where she led the product and engineering teams. In this role she oversaw a strong growth period while building a top-notch team and a product that is now used in 145 countries around the world.
Nic is also on the Board of The Mind Lab and Tech Futures Lab, the award-winning postgraduate facility for contemporary education for executives and educators.
CEO, Meridian Australia and Powershop Australia
Jason Stein became the Chief Executive Officer of Meridian Energy Australia and Powershop Australia in January 2020.
Jason brings a sharp customer focus and considerable commercial experience to his role as CEO of Meridian’s integrated generation and retail business in Australia. As well as delivering a better energy experience to a growing number of customers, Jason and his team contribute to the debate on how Australia can decarbonise its energy system while maintaining reliability and affordability.
Prior to his appointment, Jason was General Manager of the Office of the Chief Executive as well as Meridian General Counsel and Company Secretary. He was also a director of Meridian subsidiaries Dam Safety Intelligence Limited and Flux Federation.
General Manager Corporate Affairs and Sustainability
Claire Shaw was appointed GM Corporate Affairs and Sustainability in April 2020. Claire and her team are responsible for public relations strategy, sustainability, external and internal communications at Meridian Energy. Before this appointment, Claire was Acting GM for Office of the Chief Executive, Corporate Communications Manager and held various communications roles at Meridian. Claire has also been a board member for Drive Electric.
Claire joined Meridian in 2009 after moving from a career in journalism in the UK and Ireland. Originally hailing from Yorkshire, Claire holds an Honours degree in English Literature from the University of Wales, Bangor.
General Counsel and Company Secretary
Jason Woolley was appointed General Counsel and Company Secretary in April 2020. Jason and his team are responsible for legal, government relations and regulatory functions at Meridian Energy. Jason joined the Meridian legal team in 2011 as Senior Legal Counsel before taking up the Regulatory Affairs Manager’s role and more recently Head of Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Legal.
Prior to joining Meridian Jason worked in both private law firm and in-house legal roles in Wellington, the UK and Australia. Jason holds both a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration and a Bachelor of Laws with Honours from Victoria University of Wellington.
Board of directors
Chair, Independent Director, LLB, CFInstD
Mark Verbiest joined the Meridian Board in March 2017, he was appointed Chair in October 2019.
Mark is an experienced company director, currently serving on the boards of several major companies and organisations, including: ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited (Director), Freightways Limited (Chairman), Willis Bond Capital Partners Limited (Chairman), and the Advisory Board to New Zealand Treasury (Member). He is also a former board member of the Financial Markets Authority and former Chairman of both Spark New Zealand Limited and Transpower New Zealand Limited.
Mark has had significant involvement and experience in the energy and technology sectors, as well the capital markets, in a variety of guises, over many years.
Deputy Chair, Independent Director, MNZM, CA (CAANZ)
Peter Wilson joined the Meridian Board in May 2011. Peter is a Chartered Accountant and business consultant, and was formerly a partner of Ernst & Young and previously Chairman of Westpac New Zealand Limited. He has extensive experience in banking, business establishment, problem resolution, asset sales and management of change functions. Peter has been involved in companies undertaking capital-raising activities and has wide-ranging governance experience in the public market, in the private sector and with Crown-owned entities.
Peter serves on the Audit and Risk Committee and is currently Chair of Arvida Group Limited. Past directorships include Farmlands Co-operative Society Limited, the Colonial Motor Company Limited, Westpac Banking Corporation and P F Olsen Limited.
Independent Director, CNZM, BCom, FCA (CAANZ), FINSTD
Jan Dawson joined the Meridian Board in November 2012. Jan is Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee. Jan is Chair of Westpac New Zealand, Deputy Chair of Air New Zealand Limited and a director of AIG Insurance New Zealand Limited. Jan is a professional independent director. She was previously the Chair and Chief Executive of KPMG New Zealand, following a career spanning 30 years specialising in audit and accounting services in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.
She is a Vice President of World Sailing and a Councillor of the University of Auckland. Jan was previously President of Yachting New Zealand and a director of Beca Group, Goodman Fielder Limited and Counties Manukau District Health Board.
Independent Director, BCom, FCA, CMInstD
Julia Hoare joined the Meridian board 26 September 2019.
Julia has extensive governance, financial, accounting and auditing expertise. Her executive career at PWC included significant experience in sustainability and risk management. Julia has a very strong governance pedigree and is currently a Director of a number of large New Zealand companies including Auckland International Airport, Port of Tauranga, a2 Milk, Watercare Services and AWF Madison.
In addition to significant commercial and financial experience in both the private and public sectors, Julia’s skills also span infrastructure, logistics, utilities and sustainable business practices.
Independent Director, BA, MBA, MPA (Harvard)
Anake Goodall joined the Meridian Board in May 2011 and serves on the Safety and Sustainability Committee. Anake has diverse management and governance experience, including being a union delegate in the meat industry and a founding director of the Makarewa Credit Union, holding various executive roles in community-based organisations, and being an adviser to the Government and iwi. In past executive roles he served as Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and was before that responsible for managing all aspects of Ngāi Tahu’s Treaty settlement process.
Anake is a past Chair of the Ākina Foundation, and Chairs the Hillary Institute of International Leadership, Seed The Change | He Kākano Hāpai, and EKOS. He is also a Trustee of The Gift Trust and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canterbury. Anake is a New Zealand Harkness Fellow
Independent Director, BE (Hons), BBS, MMGT, FIPENZ
Mark Cairns joined the Meridian Board in July 2012. He currently serves on the Audit and Risk Committee. Mark has extensive experience in port operations and transportation. He has been Chief Executive of NZX-listed Port of Tauranga Limited since 2005. Prior to joining Port of Tauranga Limited, he was Chief Executive of C 3 Limited (formerly Toll Owens Limited) for five years, following his role as General Manager (Central) at Fulton Hogan Limited.
Mark is Chair of Quality Marshalling (Mount Maunganui) Limited and is a director of Coda Group Limited, Northport Limited and Port of Tauranga Trustee Company Limited. Mark has also previously held director roles in PrimePort Timaru Limited, C 3 Limited and Tapper Transport Limited.
Independent Director - BE (Hons) and CMinstD
Michelle joined the Meridian board in October 2019.
She has extensive engineering and industrial expertise, with more than 20 years of experience in the Australasian heavy industry sector. Based in Invercargill, Michelle is a former executive of Rio Tinto, both in New Zealand and Australia.
Michelle previously held the role of Chief Operating Officer of PowerNet, an electricity distribution company, leading 200 employees across risk management, health and safety, infrastructure, and operations skillsets. Michelle has experience in business delivery, process innovation, and ensuring people safety.
Independent Director, MBA, BTech CE
Nagaja Sanatkumar joined the Meridian Board in January 2020.
Nagaja has an impressive international career including senior roles at both Amazon and Expedia. While at Amazon, she led various facets of Online Grocery, Trade In & Rentals, which built on her expertise across retail, customer experience innovation and technology. Nagaja studied chemical engineering at IIT Bombay and then moved to the US to take up a consulting role with Deloitte, before completing an MBA from the University of Washington.
With 20 years’ experience harnessing technology to achieve growth and profitability in e-commerce, she has significant executive experience in digital strategy, technology leadership and retailing functions. Nagaja is also a Director for New Zealand Post. Before joining the Meridian's board, Nagaja held the position of General Manager Global Digital at Icebreaker.