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.
Cristiano has moved from Vector Limited where he held several positions including GM Technology and Innovation, and Head of Engineering. He focused on the design and development of new technology and commercial low-emissions energy solutions. He was also responsible for the design and integration of new technologies such as battery storage, micro-grids, electric vehicles and solar, into the Vector electricity distribution networks. Cristiano was Vector’s representative as a Global Partner for the Elemental Excelerator, which is one of the largest low-emissions energy solution accelerators in the world and there he assisted start-ups with the demonstration and commercialisation of their solutions.
Before moving to New Zealand, Cristiano worked for UK Power Networks in England as the Head of Low Carbon Innovation. He also gained expertise in bid and project management, as well developing investment cases for the adoption of new technologies.
Originally from Portugal, Cristiano holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering from the University of Manchester in the UK.
Cristiano started his position as Chief Executive in mid-August. He and his wife have two young children.
Rob is one of New Zealand’s leading professional directors, with over 30 years’ experience in capital markets and director and advisor to a range of investment fund and private equity groups internationally. Rob is committed to seeing New Zealand take a leadership role in the field of emissions lowering energy innovation and commercialisation and is passionate about improving leadership diversity, promoting sustainability as a core value, and creating equality in the organisations he is involved with.
Rob was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in the New Year Honours 2020 list for his services to business. He is currently Chair of Skycity Entertainment Group Limited, Summerset Group Holdings Limited (NZ) and WEL Networks and UltraFast Fibre Limited and a director of Precinct Properties. Rob holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economic History and Political Science and a Masters of Philosophy in Economics.
Elena brings to the Board extensive experience as a company director and professional civil engineer who has held a number of leadership positions in the transport, infrastructure and energy sectors over the past 30 years. Elena’s career has seen her work and live in Taranaki for a number of years. Her wealth of knowledge and understanding of the region and energy sector will be invaluable to Ara Ake, as will her drive to support the continued growth and prosperity of both the Taranaki region and New Zealand energy sector.
Elena is currently Chair of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and director of Harrison Grierson Holdings Limited, Marsden Maritime Holdings Limited, Ngāpuhi Asset Holdings Company Limited, Contact Energy, Callaghan Innovation and Chair Construction and Instructure Workforce Development Council Interim Establishment Board. She is also an external advisory member of the joint New Zealand Defence and Ministry of Defence Capability Governance Board. Elena is a chartered fellow of the Institute of Directors, fellow of Engineering NZ and Past President and holds a Bachelor of Technology in Biotechnology and a Master of Civil Engineering.
Dr Will Edwards
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 Board, as well as proven leadership experience in the application of the Treaty of Waitangi to contemporary New Zealand.
Will serves on a number of other boards including Parinihiki Waitotara Incorporation, Tuiora and Taranaki Futures. He is Chair of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge, is on the Health Research Council of New Zealand Māori Health Committee and is a Co-investigator on the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study. He was also a member of the National New Energy Development Centre Establishment Project Steering Group. Will affiliates to the Taranaki, Ngāruahine, Tāngahoe, Pakakohi and Ngāti Ruanui iwi of Taranaki. He holds Bachelor degrees in Horticulture and Arts, a Masters of Philosophy in Māori Studies, a Doctorate in Public Health and is a recognised senior social science researcher.
Rick combines a 25-year legal career in corporate, commercial and ICT law with wide
ranging governance and business experience. Rick has been heavily involved in working with companies at all stages and understands from a corporate governance, risk and operational perspective, the opportunities and challenges that a company faces while establishing and growing in a fast-changing environment.
Rick has been a partner at Lowndes Jordan for 20 years and has led various successful initiatives over many years, in roles including Chair of NetSafe (current) and previously as a founding board member of Crown Company, The Network for Learning Limited, Chair of KidsCan charity, Deputy Chair of Pinehurst School and Vice-President of InternetNZ. Rick is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors, a Chartered IT Professional and holds a Law Degree and a Masters in internet and copyright law.
Lovina is a global technology executive with a record of building digital businesses from concept through to commercialisation and growth. Some of her previous leadership roles in innovation projects, include GM of Alexa Shopping at Amazon, GM of Skype and Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft Latin America. After 20 years in the United States, Lovina has returned home to contribute to the New Zealand technology ecosystem. Lovina’s ambitious approach to driving and accelerating commercialisation will be of real asset to Ara Ake.
Lovina now works as a partner for Movac, a local Venture Capital fund and is an independent Director for Pushpay Holdings Ltd and several other privately held companies. She further contributes to New Zealand's capability building by serving both on the Investment Committee for Return on Science and as a NZTE Beachhead Advisor. She is a member of the Institute of Directors and has a Bachelor of Psychology, a Masters in Statistics and an MBA from Harvard Business School.