Members of the Rulings Panel
Members are appointed by the Governor-General in accordance with a recommendation from the Minister of Energy and Resources after consultation with the Minister of Justice and the Electricity Authority.
The current members of the Rulings Panel are:
- Mel Orange (Chair)
- Geraldine Baumann (Deputy Chair)
- Denis O'Rourke LLB
- Nicola Wills
- Lee Wilson
Background notes on each member
Mel Orange is barrister and business consultant from Christchurch. He has worked in the energy and construction industries for 25 years including being a past Board Member of MARIA. Mel is the Presiding Member (Chair) of the Electrical Workers Registration Board and the Deputy Chair of the Building Practitioners Board.
Geraldine Baumann has 30 years experience in the electricity sector. She was General Counsel at the Electricity Corporation of NZ from 1987 to 1999 and then CEO of ECNZ - Residual for a year. Since that time she has been on the Board of EECA (from 2001 to 2007, including a period as Deputy Chair), the Board of Genesis Energy (2002 to 2008), and a member of the Board of Inquiry to consider the National Policy Statement for Renewable Energy (2008-2009).
Denis O’Rourke LLB
Denis O’Rourke practiced in Christchurch and in Invercargill as a barrister and solicitor for over 30 years, and has served as a Disputes Tribunal Referee and as a member of the Legal Aid Review Panel. He was a Christchurch City Councillor for 15 years and a member of parliament for 6 years. He has served on the boards of many companies and authorities including: Christchurch Transport Limited, Postbank Limited, Meta NZ Limited, and Christchurch International Airport Limited. For several years he was Chairperson of Transwaste Canterbury Limited a public-private partnership, and is currently Chairman of Central Plains Water Trust and a member of the board of Maritime New Zealand.
Nicola Wills is a Wellington lawyer with extensive experience in commercial dispute resolution, as a Tribunal adjudicator and in the electricity sector (including an in-house role for Transpower, and advising the Market Surveillance Committee (a predecessor to the Rulings Panel). She has practised at the bar, in private firms and as a lawyer in the public service.
Lee Wilson is an electricity market specialist with over 35 years of experience with electricity companies and providing consulting services to the energy sector. He was a founding director of Concept Consulting Group and during his 18 years consulting led a wide range of assignments for government agencies and energy companies, with a focus on energy policy and market design. His senior executive roles included Establishment CEO for Genesis Energy, CEO for the Electricity Reform Transition Unit, Market Development Director at Contact Energy, and Corporate Development Manager at the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand. He was a member of the Electricity Price Review, which provided its recommendations to the Minister in May 2019.
The Authority’s contact for the Rulings Panel is the General Manager Legal and Compliance.