Rob Bernau – General Manager Market Design
Rob leads our market design team, which is responsible for Code development and market facilitation in the retail and wholesale markets. This includes promoting to consumers the benefits of comparing and switching retailers.
Rob has experience delivering complex work programmes in challenging environments and an in-depth knowledge of regulatory organisations.
Before joining the Authority, Rob was Head of Energy, Airports and Dairy Regulation at the Commerce Commission. Rob was responsible for the Commission’s economic regulation of electricity lines, gas pipelines and major airports, and for the Commission’s regulatory functions in the dairy sector. Since 2016 Rob has also been responsible for overseeing the Commission’s interface with the Electricity Authority, particularly in relation to evolving technologies in the electricity sector. Rob joined the Commission in September 2010 as General Counsel in the Regulation Branch. Before 2010, Rob worked for New Zealand Post in network access and legal roles, and for Chapman Tripp.
Rob holds an LLB (Hons) from the University of Otago.
Sarah Gillies – General Manager Legal, Ministerial and Compliance
Sarah leads the Authority’s Legal and Compliance Teams and is responsible for Ministerial engagement.
The legal team provides in-house legal services for the Authority, while the compliance team is responsible for monitoring, investigating and enforcing compliance with the Code, the Electricity Industry Act and various regulations.
The compliance team also undertakes market-facilitation measures to improve compliance, and identifies areas of the Code that may need change as a result of compliance work.
Previously, Sarah was Executive General Counsel International at CoreLogic where she led the legal and risk team for the company’s international activities (covering Australia, NZ and UK). She also held other roles where she was accountable for strategy, stakeholder management, and driving business performance and culture for CoreLogic’s New Zealand operations.
From 2005-12 she held various senior counsel roles in Telecom’s legal team, including in the Regulatory and Competition legal team. She has also spent time in private practice at two large national law firms.
Sarah holds an LLB (Hons), a BSc and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Management.
Ilana Miller – Chief Operating Officer
Ilana works across the Senior Leadership Team. She is responsible for improving organisational practice to deliver regulatory excellence, and to reinforce the intended development cycle across market monitoring, market design, and compliance activities.
Ilana is an experienced regulator in high risk/controversial areas, with extensive working knowledge of complex regulatory systems. She is well-recognised within government for building strong relationships – with a diverse range of stakeholders including across government; business leaders; iwi and private sector.
Before joining the Authority, Ilana was the National Manager Petroleum & Minerals at the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment which she joined in 2014. Before 2014, Ilana worked at the Environmental Protection Agency.
Ilana holds a degree in Science and a post graduate qualification in Environmental Management.
James Tipping – Chief Strategy Officer
James works across the Authority to bring leadership and excellence to our work programme and to the evidence that underpins the Authority’s decision-making. He plays a role in maintaining and growing relationships with other regulators – both domestically and internationally – and ensures the Authority is well aware of regulatory best practice and emerging market developments.
James has more than 17 years’ experience working in strategy, analytics, policy and regulatory roles in the energy sector in New Zealand and in Europe. James’s most recent leadership role was at Trustpower as the Strategy and Portfolio Manager, having previously led Trustpower’s regulatory engagement for a number of years. His international experience includes consulting for Redpoint Energy, one of Europe’s leading energy consultancies.
James holds a Bachelor of Science majoring in Statistics, a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics, and a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours in Operations Research from the University of Canterbury. He also has a PhD in Operations Research from the University of Canterbury, focussed on modelling electricity wholesale market prices.
Grant Benvenuti – Acting General Manager Market Performance
Grant currently leads our market performance team, which is responsible for market services, data management, modelling, market monitoring and market performance reviews.
The team looks after the overall operation of the electricity system and market including managing all of the market operations service provider contracts. The team also manages the provision of modelling and data analysis to support the Authority’s wider work. Much of this data is made publicly available through the emi.ea.govt.nz website.