Our Vision

Fostering a sustainable future for Aotearoa New Zealand through geothermal

Our Mission Statement

To represent New Zealand’s geothermal community by promoting the legacy, sustainability, and benefits of geothermal for Aotearoa

Our Pillars


  • Networking to build lasting relationships for our members
  • Leading discussion on the merits of geothermal with government and industry
  • Developing co-operation between industry sectors for the benefit of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Being a cornerstone of the international geothermal community through strong connections
  • Building lasting partnerships with Māori


  • Nurturing new ways of using geothermal through connecting people, ideas and skills
  • Supporting business cases that promote the sustainable use of geothermal energy
  • Identifying and promoting geothermal opportunities to energy intensive industries
  • Continuing to promote New Zealand’s geothermal capabilities


  • Forming solid relationships with central and local governments
  • Promoting the Aotearoa New Zealand geothermal story as a path to net zero-carbon
  • Being a non-partisan voice on the merits of geothermal
  • Ensuring open dialogue is achieved when new regulations are being proposed
  • Advocating for sustainable resource management and protection of our unique taonga


  • Increasing knowledge of the benefits of geothermal
  • Facilitating geothermal seminars, talks and workshops that span all things geothermal
  • Fostering the next generation of geothermal enthusiasts through networking and mentorship
  • Celebrating the value, culture, and stories of geothermal taonga for Māori
  • Providing forums for training and upskilling of geothermal for Aotearoa

What We Do

We deliver geothermal leadership by:

  • Linking people and projects by promoting geothermal research and employment opportunities
  • Serving as a forum for the exchange of quality and unbiased information
  • Encouraging and supporting geothermal research
  • Ensuring regular conversations between Government and industry
  • Influencing decision making through informed and impartial advocacy into New Zealand’s geothermal legislation, policy and regulations
  • Responding to enquiries from the public and international community and connecting the right information with the right people
  • Future proofing the industry by engaging young talent and connecting with the new generation of geothermal specialists
  • Collaborating with national and international governmental, institutional and private agencies for the sustainable development of geothermal resources.
  • Growing expertise and building capacity by providing or sponsoring topical seminars, workshops and training opportunities
  • Promoting good practice guidance
  • Producing strategic papers to inform and better position the geothermal industry

NZGA Board

Katie McLean - President
Senior Reservoir Engineer - Contact Energy

Katie is currently a reservoir engineer working for Contact Energy at Wairakei, New Zealand’s oldest geothermal power station. She is an engineer and a geologist by training, with an interest in renewable energy, and so naturally made the move to New Zealand to work in the geothermal industry.

Katie has a PhD in geothermal well testing from the University of Auckland. She has published papers on a range of reservoir engineering topics, and more recently on the subject of carbon emissions from geothermal. She has co-authored a textbook on geothermal well testing with Dr Sadiq Zarrouk, of the Geothermal Institute at the University of Auckland.

Jeremy O'Brien - Vice President
Business Manager - Geothermal Energy - Seequent Limited

Jeremy has been involved in geothermal development since 2008. Jeremy's career began working for Mighty River Power (now Mercury Energy), developing and managing the Ngatamariki, Rotokawa and Mokai geothermal fields along with exploration prospects within the Taupo Volcanic Zone.

Jeremy’s experience has focussed on building robust development and management strategies for both geothermal and oil and gas resources. This has taken Jeremy across the globe covering the Asia Pacific region, US, Middle East, Sub Saharan Africa, Europe and Russia.

Jeremy now leads Seequent’s global geothermal team based in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Jaime Quinao - Treasurer
Associate Geothermal Engineer - Jacobs

Jaime is currently the Senior Resources Engineer or Kaipuukaha for Ngati Tuwharetoa Geothermal Assets Ltd. (NTGA) in Kawerau, a world-leading geothermal energy supplier for industrial direct heat use. In his role at NTGA, he enjoys the challenges and opportunities at the intersection of resource management, steamfield operations, resource and environment sustainability, and stakeholder engagement in support of geothermal energy development in the Kawerau Industrial Complex.

Jaime has over 11 years of geothermal resource management and reservoir engineering experience, starting as a reservoir engineer at Chevron Geothermal fields in the Philippines in 2007. He joined the New Zealand geothermal community in 2010 as a reservoir engineer for Mercury and moved to NTGA in 2017 to pursue his interest in geothermal direct heat use. He completed a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at the University of the Philippines in 2007 and a Master of Engineering in Engineering Science at the University of Auckland in 2016, studying a framework for uncertainty analysis of geothermal numerical models.

Samantha Alcaraz - Secretary
Geothermal Geology and Modelling Team Leader - GNS Science

Samantha is a geologist by background, with a specialisation in geomatics, and has been the GNS leading expert in geothermal data management, GIS and 3D Geoscience Modelling for the last 11 years. Samantha has a key centralising role within multi-disciplinary teams to gather data and create integrated geoscience models, which gives her a broad understanding of the values brought by different disciplines in understanding the geothermal resources. During Samantha's career, she has worked on many projects in New Zealand and overseas, including Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Ecuador, Brazil, Montserrat, Reunion and France.

Whilst her daily work mostly focusses on high enthalpy geothermal resources, she has a strong interest in direct uses and a wish to optimise the use of our resources for the benefit of our communities.

Samantha is currently the Treasurer of the Asia-Western Pacific Regional Branch (AWPRB) of the International Geothermal Association (IGA).

Paul Siratovich - Immediate Past President
Director - Upflow Limited

Dr. Paul Siratovich is an experienced geologist in both research and commercial applications, and has been in the geothermal industry since 2008. Paul combines his science expertise & technical skill in large-scale geothermal operations, and is often called upon by geothermal professionals around the world, for review of field management plans & strategies. He has worked on many of New Zealand’s geothermal fields as a geologist, technical advisor and project manager. He believes that geothermal is key to securing a sustainable and environmentally sound future for our world.

Paul has an extensive publication record, is a Professor of Practice at the University of Canterbury (NZ), the Immediate Past President of the New Zealand Geothermal Association, Board Member of the International Geothermal Association and co-founder of Upflow Limited.

Mike Allen - Board Member

As we all recognise, these are challenging times for the energy sector and the geothermal industry more broadly. While Mike have been associated with geothermal activities for more than 40 years, much of his experience has been in helping deliver New Zealand experience and expertise into international projects. The establishment of Geothermal New Zealand Inc (GEONZ) in 2012 provided a platform to explore a more substantial role for the NZ industry overseas: though this has had mixed results, Mike believes it continues to help maintain our position in a number of markets, reinforcing contacts at industry, project and government levels. He also has involvement in the broader renewable energy sector through IRENA and programmes for MFAT and can offer a pragmatic view of how geothermal fits within this wider sector.

Over the last 18 months Mike has had the opportunity to work closely with the New Zealand industry in putting together a national presence for the WGC and through these efforts we have strengthened the connection between NZGA and GEONZ. He has been impressed with the reinvigoration of NZGA activities that the current board has brought to bear and this will ensure strong support for the industry going forward. His interest in joining the board is to reinforce this renewed approach of the NZGA, offer his international commercial experience and connections and ensure that the membership continues to be provided with personal and business development opportunities as appropriate.

Clare Baxter - Board Member
Customer Solutions Specialist, Energy - Seequent Limited
Representative - Women in Geothermal WING

A geologist by background Clare also has a Master of Energy, where her research focused on developing a natural state model of a field in the Azures. For the past 10 years, she has supported geothermal companies build out their subsurface modelling workflows. This has taken her around the globe, where in 2017 she focused on Europe, Africa and Middle East region. Clare returned to New Zealand in 2021, joining the New Zealand geothermal community and is based in Christchurch.

Clare is an active committee member in Women in Geothermal and was the UK WING Ambassador before serving the WING NZ team.

Aroha Campbell - Board Member
Tauhara North No.2 Trust

Aroha is the longest standing Trustee of 30 years with Tauhara North No.2 Trust – Matua Board and currently holds the internal position on the Financial Audit & Risk & Policy Sub-Committee; a director on the Kai Whenua (Food & Land), Charitable Company Limited, Rotokawa Joint Venture with partners Mercury and the Chair of Waiariki Woman’s Refuge.

During her 11 years as CEO for Tauhara North No2. Trust, a sound foundation has been established for the owners and descendants ensuring their mission “Kia mau ki te whenua” Hold fast to the land, “Whakamahia te whenua” Make use of the land “ Hei painga mo nga uri whakatipuranga” For the future generations. This korero was given to them by Aroha's grand uncle Tete Mihinui from her dad’s whakapapa and Nanny Kurupai Whata from her grandmother’s whakapapa.

Aroha is very passionate about giving back to the Marae within the rohe of Ngati Tahu – Whaoa, assisting in community Trusts at a governance level and providing strategic insight, support and advice for community and indigenous groups around the world looking to develop their own geothermal projects or wishing to collaborate with partners on geothermal developments. She gets excited in creating an environment when interacting and listening to people and motivating them to find solutions and seeing their satisfaction and smile.

Aroha believes as a board member she can offer a Maori point of view in geothermal and walk a parallel pathway with a professional acumen.

Nga mihi

Scott Henderson - Board Member
Market Director – ANZ Power & Energy - Jacobs

Scott began his career as a process engineer in an Oil & Gas consultancy in the UK in 1997. His introduction to geothermal came upon arrival to New Zealand in 2004 when he began with SKM (now Jacobs) as a geothermal process engineer and project manager, leveraging the obvious synergies from his O&G background.

Early career highlights were delivering process engineering for the Polaris San Jacinto project, and then later on as lead process engineer for Jacobs scope in the Kawerau project and design manager for Jacobs scope in the Nga Awa Purua project. More recently he has been heavily engaged in delivering a program of large mid-life, sustaining capital, engineering design works to Chevron geothermal which rounded off his appreciation of the different facets of geothermal development and began to look beyond the nuts & bolts of design. In parallel with this technical progression, he has worked through many roles from project manager (large consulting projects and med sized capital projects), through to operations management and latterly client account management and business development.

He is currently the Market Director for Power and Energy across ANZ for Jacobs.

Mason Jackson - Board Member
Associate - Mitchell Daysh

Ko Takitimu te waka
Ko Hikurangi te maunga
Ko Tukituki te awa
Ko Ngāti Kahungunu ko Ngāti Porou ōku iwi
Ko Mason Jackson tāku ingoa.

I am currently employed by Mitchell Daysh – a resource management and environmental planning consultancy with offices across the motu.

I studied earth sciences at the University of Waikato, and since graduating and entering the work force, have gained approximately 25 years of environmental management experience in New Zealand focused in the energy and regulatory sectors. More notably, I have been involved in, and led, multi-disciplinary teams on a number of large geothermal consenting and development projects for Mercury NZ and its predecessor company Mighty River Power through, what some people refer to as, New Zealand’s “geothermal renaissance” period. In this regard, among various renewable wind and geothermal developments, I was lucky enough to work alongside Tauhara North No.2 Trust in the consenting and development of the Ngā Awa Pūrua and Ngā Tamariki geothermal projects.

I have a strong interest in the earth sciences, and a particular passion for geothermal resources and their sustainable development. I am an experienced RMA practitioner and I closely follow the myriad of RMA reforms occurring and being signaled for the near future. As a result of my work experiences and environmental interests, I have become acutely aware of the preciousness of our geothermal resources, and of the important role they play in New Zealand’s effort to decarbonize. Similarly, I am conscious of the associated challenges and opportunities that face the future of our geothermal taonga, especially in light of emerging national regulatory reforms and global climate change. I believe I can offer specific value to the NZGA in this dynamic space.

Fiona Miller - Board Member
Geothermal Cluster Lead - Amplify

Fiona Miller is a relative newcomer to the geothermal industry, joining Amplify (Taupō’s economic development agency) in 2021 as the Geothermal Cluster Lead. This role is focused on helping attract, grow and support Taupō district’s geothermal industry, from individual enterprises to broader industry-level initiatives, adopting an “NZ Inc” approach to the latter. This includes launching NZ Geothermal Week in 2021, wrapped around NZ Geothermal Association’s annual Winter Seminar, being an active member of the GeoHeat Action Group, and creating opportunities for industry to engage with its local communities and future talent.

Fiona has a science business background, holding BSc and BApplSc (Hons) qualifications from Massey University, and an MBA focused on entrepreneurship and biotechnology from UC Berkeley. Prior to her current role, her career focused on life sciences and agribusiness, primarily in business development, technology commercialisation and strategy roles in corporate, research and start-up environments. She brings experience and perspectives from other industries to the board, as well as enthusiasm for helping the New Zealand geothermal industry contribute to a sustainable future and deliver quadruple-bottom line benefits.

Ted Montague - Board Member
Technical Advisor - Contact Energy Ltd

Ted has a MSC in Geology (University of Canterbury) and a MSC in Mineral Economics (Colorado School of Mines).

Ted has worked on geothermal projects since 1997, in the sectors of exploration, development, drilling, construction, economic valuations, contracting, and electricity markets. He has worked on projects New Zealand as well as Indonesia, the USA, and Chile.

He has held roles in the NZGA periodically since 1999.

Jacqui Nelson - Board Member
Chief Development Officer - Contact Energy Limited

Jacqui has been with Contact Energy for over 15 years taking the role of Chief Development Officer in October 2021. As Chief Development Officer she has responsibility for the company’s development and demand growth activities aligned with its Contact26 strategy. Previously Jacqui has held a wide range of roles within Contact across finance, resource management, trading and most recently as Chief Generation Officer where she was responsible for the electricity Generation and Trading, and Sustainability functions of the business which deliver 80% of Contact’s EBITDAF.

Prior to her current role Jacqui has headed up trading, the land consenting and environment group and was Company Treasurer from 2004 to 2010. In the years before Contact she was Treasury Adviser at Airways for nine years and prior to that worked at ANZ Banking Group.

Her passions lie in the people she connects with. She takes great pleasure in creating an environment in which the people she interacts with are motivated to be their best selves and to add value. Jacqui has received a number of external awards recognising her work and capability including the 2019 US Energy Association - Women in Energy Feature for Exemplary Leadership and the 2018 US Energy Association Corporate Volunteer Award for her work with Ngati Tahu in helping the Masai in Kenya.

As well as being a Director on the NZGA, Jacqui is Chair and Trustee of the New Zealand Red Cross Foundation (appointed Chair Aug 2020).

Leighton Taylor - Board Member
Director - LT Engineering

Leighton’s professional experience to date has been undergraduate work experience on New Zealand’s steamfields; a Masters Thesis in low temperature geothermal binary plants; design work at MTL for overseas steamfields projects; attending and presenting at geothermal conferences on both geothermal generation and steamfield design.

Leighton is committed to the belief that geothermal energy will play a significant role in achieving New Zealand’s carbon neutral goal. To become a member of the NZGA board is an opportunity to contribute towards the development of the geothermal industry and to shape how geothermal fits into the carbon neutral future of New Zealand. Leighton brings both enthusiasm and experience to the NZGA board.

Brian White - Board Member
Senior Energy Advisor – East Harbour Energy

Mechanical Engineer and Geothermal Institute Graduate Brian has worked across a wide range of roles within the geothermal industry over the last 40 years. He has interests in the industry origins, and how it can transform to meet future low emission energy requirements, including outside high temperature fields. Projects have included both electricity generation and direct heat use. His focus is on enabling geothermal development both in New Zealand and internationally, including working closely with MFAT and World Bank. He has also worked within the New Zealand Government on broader energy market issues and policies.

He has had NZGA Board involvement since 2001 including as the inaugural Executive Officer for the Association.

Sadiq Zarrouk - Board Member
Co-Director, Geothermal Institute - University of Auckland

Sadiq J. Zarrouk is an Associate Professor of Geothermal Engineering, Co-Director of the Geothermal Institute, and the course director for the Postgraduate Certificate in Geothermal Energy Technology at the Department of Engineering Science, The University of Auckland.

Sadiq has extended research and commercial field experience in geothermal and reservoir engineering with more than 25 years of experience in geothermal energy training and research. In 2007 Sadiq was instrumental in the restart of the geothermal training programme at the University of Auckland.

Sadiq has worked on 41 geothermal fields around the world. His role was to assess the resource, well targeting, analysis of the performance of wells and reservoir modelling. He participated in several due diligence projects included the geothermal engineering aspects of the field development (steam field equipment, flow measurements, two-phase flow, power stations equipment, heat exchangers and direct use). Sadiq also runs many professional training courses and has provided expert evidence on several occasions.

Sadiq has an applied approach to geothermal energy research with ongoing collaboration and joint publications with several universities and research institutions in Belgium, Germany, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, USA, Canada, Japan, Kenya, Philippines and Australia with more than 150 publications in journals and conference proceedings, three patents and two books.

Sadiq is an elected member of the board of directors of the International Geothermal Association (IGA) 2013-2020 and the New Zealand Geothermal Association 2011-2017. He is a member of the organising committee of the New Zealand Geothermal Workshop (NZGW) since 2006 and an Associate Editor in Geothermics since 2020.

NZGA Staff

Kennie Tsui

Kennie Tsui joined the New Zealand Geothermal Association as Chief Executive Officer in July 2021. Prior to this, she was the Principal Analyst at the Climate Change Commission, and was heavily involved with developing the recent report “Ināia tonu nei: a low emissions future for Aotearoa”. Tabled in Parliament in June, this report provided recommendations to the Government on climate change action in New Zealand. She has also held previous positions at the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment. A chemical and process engineer by training, and also holding an MBA qualification, Kennie has a wealth of knowledge across the energy sector built during her professional roles and directorships, as well as strong working relationships with central government. She is based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Jess Bradley
NZGA Board Coordinator and Communications Lead

Jess joined the NZGA in early 2020, taking on both the administration and communications aspects of the organisation. Prior to that, she has worked in a number of roles, including hospitality, event management, marketing and maths tutoring. Her involvement in the geothermal sector quickly connected as being based in Rotorua and her passion for a world-class sustainable future for Aotearoa New Zealand.

NZGA Life Members

Paul Bixley

Paul has been involved in the geothermal industry within New Zealand and internationally for almost 50 years, specialising in well testing and reservoir engineering. He has been closely involved with exploration, development and operations in many geothermal resources, particularly with reinjection of cooled process fluids which was untried technology when he began his geothermal career. Over the last few years he has maintained his professional interests working part-time with Contact Energy at Wairakei helping to retain their geothermal heritage and as Chairman of Craters of the Moon Charitable Trust.

Pat Brown

A chartered accountant specialising in strategic planning, geothermal energy development, financing and management, Pat was a founding partner of Strettons Accountants. In 1999 when the Tūaropaki Trust's Mokai station was completed, the Trust was the first indigenous group in the world to raise finance for such a project. Pat played a key part in securing the finance whilst ensuring that Tūaropaki's land assets were protected from financial risk. Pat sat on the NZGA Board from 2004 - 2009, including two years as treasurer. During this time he successfully guided the IRD towards updating their taxation rules regarding geothermal drilling, increasing investor confidence in geothermal exploration.

Pat Browne

Pat Browne joined the NZ Geological Survey in April 1967, working as a petrologist/ geologist mainly on the Broadlands/ Ohaaki geothermal project but also Kawerau, Tauhara, Wairakei, Kawah Kamojang and El Tatio. Patrick was appointed to the newly established Geothermal Institute at the University of Auckland in December 1978 where he taught geothermal geology from 1979 until 2003. Here, with Manfred Hochstein and Derek Freeston, later joined by Robert McKibben and ably supported by many visiting lecturers, he enjoyed teaching several hundred geothermal Diploma students, many of who successfully contributed to geothermal projects in their home countries. His research interests mostly related to hydrothermal alteration.

Aroha Campbell

Ko Aroha Campbell, QSM taku ingoa

I have lived my life around geothermal, whenua and whanau in the central north island, specifically in the rohe of Ngati Tahu, Ngati Whaoa. I am humble to be associated with three geothermal reservoirs namely Ohaki, Ngatamariki, Rotokawa and their activities. More recently I have the pleasure of contributing to the development of the Taheke project within Te Arawa.

Nga mihi

Brian Carey

Brian Carey is a Geothermal Resource Management Specialist with GNS Science where he has worked in an advisory capacity for the geothermal sector for over 10 years. Brian is trained as a mechanical engineer well versed in geothermal resource utilisation borne out of having spent 20 years of his career managing the geothermal reservoirs at Wairakei and Ohaaki. Part of his current work is as the Executive Secretary of the International Energy Agency Geothermal Group, comprising 15 members, who are fostering the uptake of geothermal energy technology across the globe. Brian has been actively involved in the Geoheat Strategy for Aotearoa NZ 2017 - 2030 initiative from its inception. The initiative is promoting the direct use of low carbon geothermal energy and the associated jobs with the enterprises that embrace for the benefit of the New Zealand.

Malcolm Grant

Malcolm Grant returned to NZ in 1974, after graduating from MIT. He joined the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), to work on geothermal and became what is now known as a reservoir engineer. He was senior author of “Geothermal Reservoir Engineering”, and became Geothermal Coordinator (head of DSIR geothermal program). There was a spell in management (GM NZ Met Service, CEO National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)), before becoming a private consultant in 1994. In the following years he worked on every geothermal project in NZ except Taheke, working for developers, Māori Trusts and regulatory authorities; and many fields overseas. The overseas experience included being an expert witness in international arbitrations, and chairing an International Geothermal Association (IGA) subcommittee on resource assessment. He retired in 2018.

Colin Harvey

Colin Harvey holds a doctorate in low temperature geochemistry and clay mineralogy from Indiana University. Colin has been involved in geothermal exploration and development in over 30 countries since 1981. He initially held the role of Senior Geochemist with KRTA Ltd and subsequently with GENZL (PB Power NZ Ltd). Colin’s development of the methylene blue technique and use of mixed layer clays are now internationally well recognised techniques in the interpretation of various geophysical measurements. After several years on the faculty of Indiana University in the 1990's, Colin returned to New Zealand in 2002 to lead the geothermal team at GNS Science before retiring in 2012. He was President of NZGA between 2004 and 2010, as well as serving on the IGA board for ten years with three years as Vice President. Colin is now retired from geothermal apart from an ongoing involvement in Peer Review Panels at Ohaaki and Ngatamariki.

Manfred Hochstein

Born in Germany, Manfred Hochstein graduated from Geophysics, Geology and Physics studies in 1961 and continued with post-graduate studies in the US and Antarctica until 1964 when he joined the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) in Wellington. He was superintendent of the Geophysical Survey, Geophysics Division (DSIR) from 1967 to 1972, and in 1973 moved to University of Auckland to teach Applied Geophysics. In 1978 he was one of the founding members of the Geothermal Institute based at the University, along with Pat Browne and Derek Freeston. Manfred was invited as a consultant to participate in several UNDP geothermal projects (Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Kenya, Ethiopia, and PR of China) between 1967 and 1988, and later in several bilateral aid projects in Indonesia. Many of his students are now leaders in geothermal exploration in many parts of the world, and he had a pioneering role in the exploration and evaluation of numerous geothermal prospects around the globe. Manfred retired in 1997 but remained active in field explorations around the world, often supporting his past students with a variety of geothermal evaluations and resource inventory.

Trevor Hunt

Trevor joined the Geophysics Division of the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, New Zealand in 1966. While there, he obtained his PhD from Victoria University in 1976. Although he officially retired in 2002, he has continued his scientific work as an emeritus scientist with GNS Science. Trevor pioneered the use of repeat gravity surveys to monitor mass balance for the Wairakei Geothermal Field. His first paper on the subject was published in 1970. The technique has since been applied to numerous geothermal fields in New Zealand, Japan, the USA, the Philippines, and elsewhere. Between 1994 and 2009, Trevor edited four special issues of Geothermics on geothermal systems in New Zealand. Trevor was a founding member of the International Energy Agency’s Geothermal Implementing Agreement, and was one of the leaders for the task called Discharge and Reinjection Problems. Trevor has also been very active in the International Geothermal Association. He was a member of the IGA Board of Directors from 1993 to 2001. He served as chairman of the IGA’s Technical Program Committee for WGC 2000 and as chairman of the Publication & Information Committee for the 2005 World Geothermal Congress. He served on the Board of Studies of the Geothermal Institute. Trevor was a founding member of the NZGA in 1992 and served until 1998.

Jim Lawless

Jim Lawless (BSc, MSc, Dip Teach) has a background of over 40 years of experience in geothermal energy. He has worked as a consultant to governments, international development agencies including World Bank, Asia Development Bank and the large German agency KfW, as well as many private energy companies. His first geothermal position was with the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), which led to a 29 career with scientific and engineering consultancy KRTA (later SKM). In 2010 he set up as a private consultant.

In later years his attention has mainly been on energy economics and policy. He is a Director of Polaris Renewable Energy, a Canadian-based international energy company. More recently, he has been voluntarily teaching environmental science to elementary school pupils, and has set up a certified tree-planting carbon offset scheme for travel with them. His intention (so far unrealised) is to retire at the end of 2022.

Jim has received awards and accolades for his contributions to geothermal, and has had numerous roles within the geothermal community, including chairing the NZGA Board from 2001 - 2004. He is an active member of the humanitarian organisation Oneness-Heart-Tears and Smiles and has been responsible for successful projects in Bali, Nicaragua, Tonga, Myanmar, Burundi and the Maldives.

Mike O'Sullivan

Mike O’Sullivan is a professor in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Auckland, specialising in computer modelling of geothermal fields. He has written many papers on the subject and has taught courses on reservoir engineering and reservoir modelling at the Geothermal Institute and at various overseas universities and companies. Since the 1980's Mike has been involved in many commercial modelling studies in New Zealand and overseas, including modelling studies of Wairakei and Ohaaki in collaboration with Contact Energy Limited. He was responsible for the revival of the Geothermal Institute in 2007.

Arnold Watson

Arnold Watson has been involved in NZ’s geothermal sector since 1980, and was a founding member of the NZGA. His early career saw him graduating as a mechanical engineer from the University of Leeds and further study in nuclear engineering, which led to a Nuclear Engineering staff position at Manchester University.

Meanwhile in New Zealand, the geothermal infrastructure was experiencing the shift from government responsibility to private ownership. With geothermal drilling practices developed at Wairakei power station being sought overseas, as well as NZ investment in Indonesia and the Philippines, the demand for specialist services saw the creation of a new Geothermal Division at Auckland consultancy, KRTA.

In 1980, Arnold was recruited by KRTA’s Dr Tim Dobbie, who was seeking staff to work on site in the Philippines and for the Auckland office. This led to subsequent work for Arnold in the USA, Japan, and New Zealand. It was also in this role, as a KRTA representative, that Arnold was called to attend a meeting in Taupō organised by Tony Mahon and Derek Freeston in 1988. The result of this meeting was the establishment of the NZGA, and Arnold sat on the original Board, formed in 1992. Later in his career, Arnold was appointed Director of the Geothermal Institute at the University of Auckland, before moving to further consultancy work.

Past NZGA Life Members

- Dick Bolton
- Derek Freeston
- Dick Glover
- Russell James
- Brian Jones
- Tony Mahon
- Basil Stilwell
- Ian Thain

Our History

The NZGA was formed following a meeting of a group of geothermalists at the Geothermal Institute of the University of Auckland in October 1992. This group wanted to bring the geothermal industry together to promote and advance geothermal in New Zealand and connect internationally.

Some of this group had also been responsible for formation of the International Geothermal Association (IGA), which had been formed after a meeting of geothermal industry representatives at Wairakei on 14 October 1986; it was incorporated in New Zealand on 21 July 1988, with Prof. Derek Freeston as Secretary and remains registered as an Incorporated Society in New Zealand.

The inaugural meeting of the NZGA was held at the Geothermal Institute of the University of Auckland on 3 November 1992. At the meeting IGA affiliation and Incorporation of the NZGA were presented followed by planning of future activities:

A mid-year (1989) Wairakei seminar
The Geothermal Workshop preparations for 10-12 November 1993
Participation in the 1995 World Geothermal Congress

The original Board was:

  • Ian Thain – President
  • Derek Freeston – Secretary
  • Tony Mahon – Vice President
  • Neville Dench
  • Tom King
  • Arnold Watson
  • Jim McLeod
  • Trevor Hunt

The NZGA was incorporated in New Zealand on 21st October 1992; it was Affiliated with the IGA at the same time.

Meeting of geothermalists at Wairakei in 1988; the meeting that led to formation of the IGA and subsequently NZGA

Records are available from the Societies website from 1992. The first record is a change of the Bylaws; these were in fact the original Bylaws.

How We Work

The NZGA is a not-for-profit voluntary organisation, chartered as an incorporated society.

The Association consists of our members, the Board of Directors (including the president, vice president, treasurer and secretary), our chief executive and administrative staff. The Board of Directors governs the affairs of the Association, and is elected at its Annual meeting.

Committees may be established to progress matters of interest to the Association.

The NZGA is an affiliated member of the International Geothermal Association (IGA) and of the Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ). We also work very closely with other industry groups including the Geothermal Heat-pump Association of New Zealand (GHANZ), the Geothermal Institute, and Geothermal NZ Inc.

"The NZGA Board provides coordination, but it is our membership across all areas of the industry who actively work behind the scenes to make connections and drive priority actions."

– Stephen Daysh, Immediate Past President


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