Meet the Board


The Water New Zealand Board meets six times a year. The board is made up of four elected members and four appointed members. 

Elected members are selected from a ballot vote of the membership. The elected members select up to four members from the current financial roll to appoint as Appointed members. 

Elected and Appointed members serve a three year term, except the President-elect, whose term is automatically extended to include their term as President and the year immediately following their term as President. Board members may serve any number of consecutive terms.


President - Helen Atkins

Helen is one of the founding partners of the boutique environment and public law firm, Atkins Holm Majurey. She has worked for a variety of private and public sector clients on a range of environmental, local government and public law matters.

Helen has served on both the New Zealand Planning Institute local branch Committee (Wellington) and on the Resource Management Law Association National Committee (including as president from 2009 to 2011).

Helen served an 11-year term as a member of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Committee of the Environmental Protection Authority (ERMA) and was a board member of the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) before it became the EPA.

She says this is an exciting time to be in the water sector and as President, is focused on building industry capacity and capability and supporting the industry to work with Taumata Arowai to ensure the proposed safe drinking water goals are achieved.

Lorraine recently started as Project Director at Beca, after serving many years as Manager Project Delivery at Waipa District Council.

Lorraine is a Chartered and International Professional Engineer and graduated with a BEng (Hons) in Civil Engineering from University of Ulster, Northern Ireland in 1999.

Lorraine has been Chair of the Water Services Managers’ Group, a position she has held for four years.

Lorraine says it is vital that, through Water New Zealand, the sector views are both heard and represented, and that there is an understanding and appreciation of what is happening at the coalface in the Three Waters assets space, particularly in the rural and provincial areas.

Tim is Chief Executive of Citycare Water and is a qualified civil engineer with a Master of Business Administration. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and Director and Chairperson of Apex Environmental.

Tim has participated in several special interest groups and has contributed to the Water New Zealand Conference & Expo Steering Group for more than a decade. He is also a member of the Service Providers Forum (now part of the Water Utilities Association) and Water Services Managers Group.

As Chairperson of the Water Industry Group, Tim has been actively involved in future-proofing talent and skills for our industry within the Connexis Governance Structure to ensure the educational frameworks and training platforms will attract and retain industry talent.

Deborah is Technical Director - Water Advisory for AECOM New Zealand Limited and worked for more than 25 years in the water sector, both in New Zealand and overseas.

She has held both internal leadership and external advisory roles across the regulated UK water industry, New Zealand councils and CCOs, as well as Australia and the Pacific Islands.

Deborah is a member of the Institute of Directors and a Chartered Scientist with the Royal Society of Chemistry. She has completed executive training at the Mt Eliza Business School, the SOLGM Accelerated Leadership Programme.

Deborah believes our sector must adapt and enhance our advocacy and other service offerings to Water New Zealand members and the broader infrastructure sector. She says that through partnering with Taumata Arowai, there are significant opportunities to engage and prepare our next generation of managers, leaders, and water sector champions for the challenges ahead.

Board Member - Priyan Perera

Priyan is currently Head of Operations Excellence at Watercare.

Priyan is a Process Engineer and Water Industry Professional who has spent the past 14 years of his career focused on the water industry and the delivery of consistently high-quality services to customers.

He is focused on providing the best service to our customers. But he understands the reality of lifting performance under tight budgets and with increasingly complex requirements.

While the changes in the water sector will pose significant challenges, Priyan says the industry is open to change and he is looking forward to working to ensure positive outcomes are achieved across the country.

Fraser is Principal Advisor, Strategy at Wellington Water. He has worked in the water sector for just under three years after more than 15 years’ experience in senior leadership and strategic roles in the electricity and energy sector, including with the regulator. This includes General Manager Market Services at the Electricity Authority as well as CEO of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association.

As a Water New Zealand member, Fraser has been part of the team developing the industry guidance for carbon emissions reduction and on the Water Utilities Association.

Fraser says that the pending reform of the water sector provides significant opportunity to take a big step forward on capability, capacity, delivery and customer outcomes. Water New Zealand will have an important role to support the sector to share its capability, knowledge and work collectively.

Troy (Te Rarawa, Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi) is a civil engineer, a water practitioner, and Pou Ārahi Māori - Māori Advisory Lead (Principal) at Pattle Delamore Partners.

Troy has more than ten years professional experience in the water industry across engineering consultancies, civil contractors and suppliers.

A key role is to support Māori cultural understanding of water and work alongside the board to link Te Ao Maori and Te Ao Pākehā.

Troy was the recipient of the  2018 Beca Young Water Professional of the Year Award at the Water New Zealand Conference & Expo and has been the deputy Chair of the New Zealand Stormwater Group.

He is passionate about empowering the water industry to incorporate Māori values and perspectives into our professional capacities, bridging the Māori and engineering worlds and combining the best of both for the protection of water into the future.

“Wai (Water) is the essence of all life and the world’s most precious resource. It is of high importance to Māori, as it is the life giver of all things, a precious taonga (treasure), part of our whakapapa (genealogy), part of our identity. For Māori, the health of the water is connected to the health of the people. We are one and the same. If the water is unhealthy, we are unhealthy.”

Ko te wai te ora o ngā mea katoa – Water is the life giver of all things

Shelley is an environmental engineer with 20 years’ experience in local government leadership roles across Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Te Tai Tokerau Northland.

Her current role is Manager, Infrastructure Planning and Capital Works at Whangārei District Council.

Shelley is passionate about environmental outcomes related to three waters, and particularly interested in the future of partnering with tangata whenua to achieve Te Mana o te Wai outcomes.

Much of her career has been leadership roles in local government and three waters, specialising in stormwater management and the delivery of strategic and complex programmes and projects from planning to policy to construction, water sensitive design, three waters, land development, engineering standards, and guidelines for sustainable stormwater practices.