You're invited to the:

YWP Nationwide Event - Wellington

There is a lot going on in the water world! Reconnect with your local YWP Committee to reflect on 2022 and hear from industry leaders about emerging challenges and opportunities for YWPs.

The Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch YWP Committees are excited - after more than two years of COVID-19 and significant regulatory change - to provide an opportunity for YWPs to reconnect in-person with their local water community. The event will take place in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch with a mixture of virtual and in-person presentations, followed by networking.

On the evening, Water New Zealand CE, Gillian Blythe will provide an overview of the current state of the New Zealand water industry and some of the key challenges/opportunities. Gillian will be attending in-person in Auckland, and her presentation will be streamed to Wellington and Christchurch. Each location will also have a local industry leader presenting in person:

  • Auckland: Jon Lamonte (CEO, Watercare)
  • Wellington: Rob Blakemore (Chief Advisor, Wellington Water)
  • Christchurch: Ulrich Glasner (Operations Lead, Entity D)

This event is open to YWP members and non-members. Drinks and nibbles will be provided.

Thanks to Jacobs for sponsoring this event.


Gillian Blythe

Gillian Blythe

Gillian has been the CE of Water New Zealand since July 2020. She came to the water sector after a long career in the electricity sector and where she became Head of Strategy at Meridian - a position she held for six years.

She studied economics at London University and one of her first pieces of research was looking at the environmental impact of large hydro dams. From there she completed her Master’s in environmental economics, thinking about issues such as climate change and ozone layers.

Gillian has worked in places like Belarus, Uzbekistan. She sees the current time of reform and change in the water sector as prime opportunity for the sector to make decisions that could have a positive long term intergenerational benefit.

Gillian is based in Wellington, where she lives with her husband and two teenage sons.

Rob Blakemore

Rob Blakemore

    Rob has more than 40 years of experience in the water industry here and overseas. He has been involved with a number of national initiatives – as a former Board member and President of Water NZ, as a member of the Ministry of Health’s Sanitary Works Technical Advisory committee and the Drinking Water Standards expert committee. He is a life member of Water NZ and a recipient of the IPENZ (Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand) Angus award for contribution to utilities. In his current role as Chief Advisor, Service Planning for Wellington Water, Rob and his team prepare water investment plans for the Wellington metropolitan region, with increasing emphasis on sustainable services, which encourage people to be aware of the impact they have on the environment.

Natalie Crane

Natalie Crane

Natalie joined Wellington Water in January 2021 to manage the $47m Stimulus Funding Programme, and then took up the role of Principal Advisor in the Chief Executive’s office. One of her responsibilities is helping WWL prepare for water reform, and she leads the Commercial and Legal workstream of the Transition Programme. She has a background in film production, project management and supporting environmental policy development.  She was part of the establishment team for the Climate Change Commission.