Independent Chair

Jennie Langley

Ms Langley took up the role of Independent Chair on 1 May 2016 for a three-year term. A professional board director, Ms Langley has extensive experience across the infrastructure, primary sector, education, and tourism sectors. Her current and recent governance roles include appointments to the Tourism Growth Partnership Independent Panel of Experts, New Zealand Council of Legal Education, Te Araroa Trust, Tourism New Zealand, and Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee.

Genesis Energy

James Magill, Executive General Manager, Product Marketing

Mr Magill joined Genesis in October 2016 and is responsible for driving growth across the retail portfolio, including accountability for product development, pricing, marketing, sales and customer analytics.

He has worked within the energy industry for the last 12 years in the United Kingdom, Texas and Australia before moving to New Zealand.

Mr Magill has experience in strategy, corporate finance, product development and originating new business opportunities.

Contact Energy

Venasio-Lorenzo (Vena) Crawley, Chief Customer Officer

Mr Crawley joined Contact Energy in October 2014, as Chief Customer Officer, overseeing the customer experience through the company’s retail and commercial and industrial channels.

Mr Crawley joined Contact from IAG UK where he held the role of Group Director of Strategy, Marketing and Distribution. Prior to this, he was Executive General Manager, Marketing and Reputation at IAG NZ, which followed 10 years with ASB Group / Sovereign as Head of Marketing, Strategy & Product Management ASB Group / Sovereign.

Mr Crawley holds an MBA and BA from Steinbeis University – The Berlin School of Creative Leadership.

Meridian Energy

Julian Smith, Chief Customer Officer

Mr Smith joined Meridian as Chief Customer Officer in March 2018 and is responsible for Meridian's customer sales, service and operations. Mr Smith has been leading businesses in New Zealand and Australia for the last 15 years and has an extensive background in strategy, marketing, customer experience and business transformation.  

Mr Smith was previously the Deputy CEO for the Tertiary Education Commission, Head of Corporate Strategy and Customer Experience for Westpac and NZ General Manager for MYOB. He has worked in a broad range of industries including, financial services, internet and digital, FMCG, utilities and government.

A qualified lawyer, Mr Smith also sits on the board of the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra and is a national award recipient for innovation, export growth and workplace diversity.


Kevin Angland, General Manager, Digital Services

Mr Angland is at the heart of Mercury's focus on customer-lead innovation, delivering value to customers through data and digital platforms. He is responsible for the strategic direction, leadership and management of all customer operations, digital and technology capability at Mercury.

Mr Angland has a breadth of experience in digital transformation and delivering some of New Zealand's biggest technology projects. He was CIO of the Year 2014, has held senior leadership positions with New Zealand's largest insurer IAG over the past decade, prior to joining Mercury in 2016. He is also a member of the advisory boards for the University of Auckland Strategic CIO Programme and the annual New Zealand CIO Summit.

Mr Angland holds an MBA and Graduate Diploma in Business & Information Services from the University of Auckland.


Craig Neustroski, General Manager, Markets

Mr Neustroski leads Trustpower's sales and marketing teams responsible for procurement and product management, pricing, marketing, customer analytics and competitive strategy. 

Mr Neustroski has extensive energy executive experience and has previously held the roles of National Sales Manager and General Manager Trading at Trustpower.

Mr Neustroski has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Canterbury and a diploma in Business and is a member of the NZ Institute of Directors.

Nova Energy

Charles Teichert, General Manager, Commercial and Strategy

Mr Teichert has been with Nova Energy since 2000 and is currently responsible for strategy development, key commercial arrangements, commodity risk management and regulatory affairs. Prior to his role with Nova Energy, he began his career in the energy sector joining the ECNZ wholesale electricity trading team in 1996 followed by short stints at Genesis Energy and Contact Energy.

Mr Teichert has a degree in Accounting and Information Systems from Otago University after which he became a Chartered Accountant (now retired) with Deloitte based in Wellington.

Pulse Energy

Neil Williams, General Manager, Energy Supply and Operations

Mr Williams began working in the electricity sector in the early 1990s, where he participated in the development of the deregulated electricity market and retail competition. Since then, he has worked in electricity markets around the globe including the USA, Chile, and Thailand.

He is currently GM Energy Supply and Operations for Pulse Energy. Mr Williams previously worked at Mercury for over 10 years in roles covering strategy, regulation, trading, development and corporate transactions.

Mr Williams has an economics degree from Auckland University and has completed post graduate study at the Harvard Business School.

Flick Electric Co.

Steve O'Connor, Chief Executive Officer, Flick Electric Co. 

Mr O'Connor is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flick Electric Co. He leads a team driven to bring smart new energy choices to consumers lives. He has previous energy experience in executive roles at Meridian Energy and its subsidiaries, but for most of his work life, he has focused on building, driving and supporting digital growth companies in a range of industries and markets both in NZ and overseas.

Mr O'Connor holds a BSc and BCA from Victoria University.

Prime Energy

Michael Skates, Managing Director

Born and educated in Christchurch, Michael’s professional career has encompassed a wide variety of major asset management roles, sales focussed solutions and technical field expertise.


As Head of Retail Operations for Orix NZ Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of Orix Corporation Japan) Michael was responsible for managing a large team of sales professionals and staff which attributed to him gaining wide and varied experience working in a major multinational corporation.  After 15 years with Orix NZ Ltd, Michael made the second industry change of his career, moving to one of New Zealand’s leading property development companies. Encompassed within the larger group was a business specialising in the supply of electricity and billing solutions to multi-tenanted buildings and developments. Appointed to run this Company in 2006, Michael quickly built a knowledge, passion and drive for the electricity industry, culminating in his acquisition, rebranding and establishment of Prime Energy in 2010 as an independent Electricity and Gas Retailer servicing customers nationwide.


As Prime Energy’s Managing Director, Michael operates as a hands-on leader, interacting daily with his team, customers, network companies, Generators and a multitude of other industry participants and influencers. Michael’s ethos for life has translated seamlessly into a company culture of energy, dynamism and agility. Prime is focussed on providing the market with a Retailer prepared to understand and respond to its consumer’s needs in an evolving and exciting energy environment.