Council

Deborah Hart

Deborah Hart

Chair

A former lawyer, Deborah chairs the independent review of Aotearoa New Zealand’s electoral laws, chairs the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand and is on the board of DocEdge. She is also a Panel Member of the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

The former executive director at the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand and former director of ASH NZ, she has advised organisations on government relations.

She undertook the independent review of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme and is a former member of the New Zealand Government’s Small Business Advisory Group.

Norman Evans

Dr Norman Evans

Council member

Norman has a solid understanding of the electricity sector from both his early role as a linesman, as an infrastructure designer, and from developing one of the first electronic power meters.  He also worked in management for Downer and Telecom.

He has held roles at both the operational and governance level for more than 25 years, including on the boards of various companies including an electricity lines company, a forestry company and utilities construction and asset holding companies.

Desiree Mahy

Desiree Mahy

Council member

Desiree brings governance and management experience largely from the education, for-purpose and social enterprise sectors. As a lawyer, mediator and facilitator, she has a strong background in advocacy, having worked with Community Law Centres o Aotearoa; as the previous CEO of Youth Development Trust; and as current chair of Te Hou Ora Whānau Services, a kaupapa Māori social service reputed for its work with hard-to-reach communities.

Desiree has previously been the Director of Māori Learner Success at the Otago Polytechnic and a Senior Advisor at Te Puni Kokiri.

Nanette Hammond Moreau

Nanette Moreau Hammond

Council member

Before assuming the chairperson’s role at the Advertising Standards Authority Appeal Board, Nanette spent twenty years in the electricity sector, specifically for Utilities Disputes Ltd, formerly known as the Office of the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner (EGCC). She was Commissioner and Chief Executive between 2016 and 2020.

She is also currently a member of the Security and Reliability Council, which is part of the Electricity Authority, providing independent advice on the performance of the electricity system and the reliability of supply.

Jessica Wilson

Jessica Wilson

Council member

Jessica brings more than 20 years’ experience in research, in the energy, environment and consumer sectors.

Before starting her current role at Victoria University of Wellington, Jessica was the head of research at Consumer NZ, where she led the investigative research programme, of which electricity services are a key focus area.

Secretariat and advisors

Jane Budge

Jane Budge

Lead

Jane is charged with setting up the new Consumer Advocacy Council and its Secretariat, to support the Council to achieve its goals and priorities. Jane’s drivers are making a difference in Kiwis’ lives and making a New Zealand a better place. Jane hopes to create positive change for small electricity consumers by making the electricity sector more accessible and fairer.

Jane has held various senior policy and regulatory roles both in central and local government, including the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, NZ Police, Taupō District Council and Nelson City Council. Jane has also worked in the private sector as a Government Relations Manager and advocacy advisor. Feeling like she has come full circle, early in her career, Jane worked in the electricity area of Standards NZ managing various electricity technical and governance committees.

Ron Beatty

Ron Beatty

Special advisor

Ron has worked in the electricity industry for over 50 years. Ron brings extensive knowledge of electricity industry operations, regulatory requirements and electricity industry standards. He has had significant experience across the electricity industry, including design, manufacture, construction, operational management, and the electricity market (distribution, retail, generation, metering, settlement systems, and Regulation).

Over the last 16 years, Ron has specialised in regulation and complex technical issues, market operations, physical and financial settlements and industry training. 

Emma Sturmfels

Emma Sturmfels

Principal advisor

Emma looks after the communications and research streams for the Consumer Advocacy Council. She is excited to be part of a team focused on bringing change to the lives of New Zealanders, and loves the challenge of learning about the complexities of the electricity industry.

Emma's skillset is focused on communications, stakeholder engagement and writing. Previous work includes senior roles with business.govt.nz, the building regulatory team at MBIE, and as editor of BoardRoom magazine with the Institute of Directors. From these roles Emma brings experience working with a wide range of people to understand problems facing New Zealanders, and helping to find and develop solutions. 

Raviena Varmman

Raviena Varmann

Executive officer

Raviena is responsible for providing secretariat and administrative support for the new Consumer Advocacy Council. Raviena graduated from Victoria University of Wellington – Te Herenga Waka in 2019, with a BA(Hons) in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies and has since been in the public sector service. Raviena has a keen interest on contributing to the betterment of the New Zealand public and prior to this, worked at Oranga Tamariki-Ministry for Children with the Partnering for Outcomes function.