Dr Cristiano Marantes
Dr Cristiano Marantes is a highly experienced energy sector executive with an extensive engineering background and an informed worldview on the potential of technologies and business opportunities that will likely emerge in a low emissions energy future. Personally, he brings to the position a life-long passion for enabling this future, through strong leadership, innovation and knowledge of new low emissions energy solutions.
Lucy has a background in law, strategy and policy and extensive experience working for purpose-driven organisations across private sector, not-for-profit, central, state and local government. She is passionately committed to the kaupapa of supporting a strong and resilient energy sector to underpin the transition to a low emissions future.
Head of Māori Partnerships
Will has extensive and diverse governance experience in the iwi and education sectors, as well as skills in research, analytics and data. His rural upbringing is complemented by broad academic training in public health, Māori development, Māori language and horticulture. Now living in South Taranaki, as a past Chair of Te Korowai o Ngāruahine, Will brings strategic Māori community and well-grounded perspective to the team, as well as proven leadership experience in the application of the Treaty of Waitangi to contemporary New Zealand.
Head of Industry & Government Engagement
For the past 12 years, Jonathan served as the MP for the New Plymouth electorate. Through his role as Energy & Resources spokesman, he travelled throughout New Zealand gaining a thorough knowledge of the integrated energy system. He has travelled overseas gaining insight into other countries energy systems, gaining a broad understanding of the global energy transition.
Head of Commercialisation
Pam has a depth of strategic, commercial, business development and transformation experience and she has extensive stakeholder engagement and relationship building in the energy sector. Most recently Pam led the Horticulture Technology Catalyst Project at Callaghan Innovation, a High Impact Project within the AgriTech Industry Transformation Plan, tasked with positioning NZ as a global leader in horticulture technology. Prior to this role Pam successfully completed the establishment of Ara Ake in her role with Venture Taranaki. Pam’s energy leadership experience spans electricity distribution, MEP services, retail, generation and upstream and downstream energy services.
Pam is impact led and sees the power of connectivity and relationships, both within Aotearoa and globally, as a key enabler to supporting our energy transition to a low emissions future.
Head of Global Partnerships
Dana's varied global career has focused on strategic planning, innovation and technology commercialisation across sectors, such as electric utilities and industrial automation. For several years, she has been an active investor and director in NZ and Europe, inspired by backing founders on their growth journey. Dana is passionate about contributing to a low emissions energy future for New Zealand.
She holds a Masters in Computer Science from University of Colorado in Boulder, USA and an MBA from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Communications & Digital Manager
Caroline played a key role in establishing Ara Ake through her role as Project Coordinator & Researcher at Venture Taranaki. Prior to that she was the Transitional Economy Coordinator at Venture Taranaki and assisted in the delivery of the Taranaki 2050 Roadmap and developing the Transition Pathway Action Plans. Caroline holds a Bachelor of Commerce in marketing and management and is passionate and committed to a strong new energy sector for Aotearoa.
As our Finance Manager, Rebecca is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day management of the finances, producing timely, accurate financial information, budget planning and comprehensive support to the Chief Executive, Board, and Aka Ake team.
Prior to joining Ara Ake, Rebecca was the Finance and Administration Manager at Venture Taranaki where she worked for 16 years.
Chase is an experienced engineer with a mechanical background and successful track record in both programme development and project management. From physical modelling to business case development, he brings broad suite of influences and an analytical mindset to the opportunities offered in the energy sector transition.
Chase is passionate about the environment and committed to engaging with local and national communities to develop pathways to a low carbon future.
Dr Jono Barnard
Research & Insights Manager
Jono is a chemical engineer by training, specialising in hazard mitigation and renewable energy systems, with experience within the Taranaki energy sector. Prior to joining Ara Ake, he worked for a research and data analytics consultancy where he used data to inform client strategy, optimise their processes and make predictions to assist them with solving various business problems.
Jono holds an engineering doctorate from the University of Cambridge, where he studied fluid mechanics to assess the risk of a potential climate change tipping point, growing his passion for the development and implementation of fit-for-purpose decarbonisation solutions.
Energy Innovation Manager
Briony started her career as an electricity trading systems analyst at the European Power Exchange after completing a Masters in energy economics and policy at Sciences Po in Paris, France.
She went on to work as a renewable energy policy analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London, U.K. before returning home to Aotearoa to make her contribution to the energy transition here. She has worked across both government and business to drive for change and innovation in our energy sector.
As Ara Ake’s Energy Innovation Manager, Briony heads up our grid flexibility work and leads our Multiple Trading Relationships pilot programme. She is also partnering with Climate Connect Aotearoa, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited’s climate innovation hub on community energy sharing solutions.
For Briony, innovation means energy that works for both people and planet. She is also passionate about diversity and inclusion, and played a key role setting up the women in energy network – Mana Wāhine | Power Women.