NZGA Board Meeting May 2020

With the world moving to online meetings, the NZGA’s quarterly board meeting was no exception. From the comfort of our own homes and offices, on May 21st, 24 board members and 3 guest speakers got together via Zoom to discuss the current plans and actions regarding the NZ geothermal industry.

The NZGA’s Vision Statement was the first topic of discussion. This has been in the pipeline for a number of months, following a board discussion and work with an external facilitator in February. We feel we have a clear idea of the intentions of the NZGA, and are now in the final stages of pairing a mission statement with the key cornerstones of our association. It has been a fantastic opportunity to properly examine what our membership base expects from us, and what we can provide for them, the geothermal community and all of New Zealand going forwards.

Other key points of discussion were the various events that are being held in New Zealand this year. With the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions, we have the opportunity to hold in-person events, which is an exciting prospect considering the limitations seen during the first half of this year. Preparations for the NZGA Winter Seminar in August 2020 are underway, as well as the NZ Geothermal Workshop, to be held in the Bay of Islands in November 2020.

Our first guest speaker was Pam Walklin, from the National New Energy Development Centre (NNEDC). This is a centre set up by Venture Taranaki, looking to represent the diversity of the energy industry, and encourage the use of low-emission energy within the region. Pam discussed the opportunities for NZGA’s involvement as a shareholder, and gave a great overview of the project’s development so far.

We then spoke to Briana Yee from the Climate Change Commission (CCC). The NZGA is keeping in close contact with the CCC as the Commission works on its initial stage of collecting data from industries throughout New Zealand, with the aim of reducing emissions and working towards the Zero Carbon 2050 Bill. The Q & A ended with the discussion of when we would hear from Briana next, with the result of hopefully getting an update from her in August, either at the Winter Seminar or at our next quarterly Board Meeting.

Finally we heard from Andrew Casely from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). He gave his interpretation of the latest budget report and how he sees geothermal energy being able to find opportunities within the government’s plans. It was a good opportunity for the NZGA Board to hear an “insider’s” point of view, and proved an interesting discussion.

All-in-all, it was a busy and productive day, and although lacking the social interaction that we enjoy at our usual board meetings, still felt like a good opportunity to connect during these unusual times.

If you would like to hear more about anything discussed at the meeting, contact committee@nzgeothermal.org.