Board


The Board comprises six members, elected for three-year terms. The Board is elected by the members and may include up to two additional co-opted members selected by the Board. The Board meets at least six times per annum.

Board Members

Helen Atkins (President)

Helen Aitkins Photo

Helen Atkins is one of the founding partners of the boutique environment and public law firm, Atkins Holm Majurey. Helen has worked for a number of years for a variety of private and public sector clients on a range of environmental, local government and public law matters. Helen has served on the both the New Zealand Planning Institute local branch Committee (Wellington) and on the Resource Management Law Assn National Committee (including as president from 2009 to 2011). Helen recently finished an 11 year term as a member of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Committee of the Environmental Protection Authority (ERMA) having previously served as a Board member of the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) before it became the EPA. 

Helen is in her first term on the Board after being a co-opted member for the past two years.

Lorraine Kendrick

Lorraine holds the position of Manager Project Delivery (Major Capital Works) at Waipa District Council (Waipa), and previously held the position of Manager Water Services at Waipa.

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.

Her career prior to joining Waipa was working as a design and project manager in various engineering consultancies in UK, Ireland and New Zealand, undertaking work in both civil and structural engineering fields.

Currently Lorraine is responsible for leading a team of project managers and engineers to deliver the major capital works programme for Waipa that encompasses the activities of Roading, Water Services and Community Facilities.

Lorraine is passionate about the 3 Waters and is the current Chair of the Water Services Managers’ Group, a position she has held for four years. Prior to her appointment of Chair, she was an active committee member.

Lorraine is looking forward to the future changes in the industry and considers it vital that Water New Zealand ensures that 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 3 Waters assets space, particularly in the rural and provincial areas.

Lorraine is keen to contribute to the Water New Zealand governance team; her focus is on ensuring the water sector in New Zealand continues to drive improvement.

This is Lorraine's first term on the Board.

Iain Rabbitts

Iain is a Water Treatment Engineer with over 25 years’ experience in New Zealand and overseas. He has been involved in water treatment plant design and implementation from Invercargill to Kaitaia and on five continents.

Iain was a member of the expert panel providing assistance to the Public Inquiry into the Havelock North Contamination Event. He has spoken out publicly about the reforms he believes necessary to ensure that all New Zealanders have access to safe drinking water. He has helped shape the national thinking on water reform and regulation and will continue to do so. Iain met in March with Hon Nanaia Mahuta, the Minister for local government, to help develop and assist the government’s thinking in this area.

Iain thinks Water New Zealand is in a really important place in influencing what the outcomes of any reform might be. This was recognised by the Public Inquiry during the Stage 2 hearings. We need to improve our industry and we need to make sure we can influence the changes. Iain can help with both of those goals.

Along with water reform comes wastewater reform and potentially stormwater reform. These are equally important and again Water New Zealand needs to lead the process.

This is Iain's first term on the Board.

Priyan Perera

Priyan is truly excited about what the future holds for our industry and the fantastic people who work within it. He values the critical work we do in operations, providing the best we can for our communities across New Zealand. But knows and understand the reality of lifting performance under tight budgets and with increasingly more complex requirements. He is firmly of the belief that the change that is coming for the water industry will be positive but will pose significant challenges for us all. These challenges will test us but as an industry we are open to this change.

We will work to ensure positive outcomes across the country. I would like to help ensure that this happens. Priyan is a Process Engineer and Water Industry Professional. He has spent the past 14 years of his career focused on the water industry, the delivery of consistently high-quality services to our customers, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. He is extremely passionate about our industry and about providing the best service possible to our customers. He has a proven track record in operational management which reflects this success.

Priyan is the Head of Operations Excellence at Watercare Services Limited, having previously worked in several operational roles including a significant period of time as Watercare’s - Operations Manager Water Supply. In fact, he began his water career as a water treatment plant operator. As the Head of Operations Excellence, he is developing and growing our capability to deliver water and wastewater service delivery across all the business, accelerating our capability through investment in people, process and technology advancement.

During his time in the water industry he has developed and grown highly successful teams whose productivity, efficiency and attitudes are all driven to ensuring the best possible outcome for our customers. He has been able to form strong and productive relationships with staff, stakeholders, service providers and supply chain. He is a proven solution provider, able to assess situations and events and successfully deliver positive outcomes.

He looks forward to bringing his energy to serve the members of Water New Zealand. He is excited by the prospect of representing and working with Water New Zealand members and industry partners to help take us in to the future of water services. He is passionate about people capability and continuing to grow the skills and knowledge of our staff and service providers.

This is Priyan's first term on the Board. 

Dr Deborah Lind 

Deborah brings extensive experience from over 25 years working in the water sector around the world. 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 and has been a member of Water New Zealand for the past 15 years.

Governance roles include; Chair of the Auckland Water Advisory Group (Auckland supercity creation), Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) Northern Branch Committee, Queenstown Lakes District Council representative on the Water Utilities Association (WUA), past President of Remarkable Theatre (an incorporated charitable organisation) and currently on the Board of Howick Little Theatre.

She believes our sector must adapt and enhance our advocacy and other service offerings to Water New Zealand members and the broader infrastructure sector. The future of water services partnered with Taumata Arowai (water services regulator) offers significant opportunities to engage and prepare our next generation of managers, leaders and water sector champions for the challenges ahead.

She is keen to ensure the many experienced and diverse voices of our water sector are heard at the Government’s decision-making table. Only together can we best shape our industry and deliver for the people of Aotearoa.

This is Deborah's first term on the Board.

Tim Gibson  

As a qualified civil engineer and Master of Business Administration, member of the Institute of Directors, Director and Chairman of Apex Environmental and Executive General Manager of Citycare Water, Tim will bring a comprehensive and well-rounded technical, operational and strategic management advisory capability to the Board.

With more than 30 years’ experience in the construction and infrastructure industries, across both the private and public sectors, Tim is a leader in service delivery to large metropolitan areas as well as regional districts. This experience, alongside his considerable expertise will be invaluable in supporting Water New Zealand in anchoring its leadership position and industry representation from operational and commercial perspectives, as we navigate through the upcoming structural reform of the water sector, and beyond.

Tim has a long association with Water New Zeaalnd and has been involved as a member for more than 20 years. Additionally, he has participated in a number of special interest groups and have contributed to the Annual Conference 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.

Water New Zealand brings together members of diverse backgrounds, skills and experiences with the common goal to advance the water industry in New Zealand. It is essential that the diversity of the industry is also represented at Board level.

With a civil engineering background, governance and strategic management experience, and as the leader of the country’s largest Three Waters provider, Tim has the ideal profile to represent the organisations that deliver water services on the ground. He is also an excellent ambassador to cultivate closer collaboration between the public and private sectors to identify opportunities for increased efficiencies, particularly through the applications of smart technology.

Tim would take a collaborative approach to support Water New Zealand in becoming the industry advocate and “go-to” advisor for the Three Waters sector. He is strongly placed to contribute to the future development of the Association, particularly in the areas of smart technology and its practical applications, producing and implementing industry best practices and operational standards, and improving H&S performance across the sector.

Tim's complex and broad operations management and leadership background will provide the Association with meaningful and practical insights into the impact of the upcoming water reform and regulations. He will represent the voice of water service providers to aid in a smooth transition as the sector adapts into delivering water services within the new structure and strengthened water quality standards.

Tim is well placed to represent the sector under the new delivery structure for industry training. He has been actively involved in future-proofing talent and skills for our industry as the Chairperson of the Water Industry Group (WIG) within the Connexis Governance Structure since 2017.

Tim considers the industry as an outstanding career choice for our youth and have worked with industry organisations to deliver the necessary educational frameworks and training platforms to attract and retain talent.

His technical, operational, governance and strategic management experience and my involvement in growing a more robust and better qualified workforce for the future and stability of our industry, including through the upcoming structural and regulatory reforms, will add significant value to the Board and the Association, and he is excited at the opportunity to represent Water New Zealand members in the future.

This is Tim's first term on the Board. 

Garth Dibley, co-opted

Garth has extensive experience in the generation, retail, transmission, and distribution sectors of New Zealand’s electricity industry. He took up the position of Chief Executive at WEL Networks in September 2014.

Garth has previously held leadership roles at both Transpower and Meridian Energy. Appointed as General Manager Grid Performance at Transpower in 2010, he led operations and asset maintenance functions of the national grid.

Prior to this, Garth was based at Meridian Energy, working as General Manager Markets and Production and then General Manager External Relations.

Garth has a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) from the University of Canterbury and an MBA from Waikato University. He has completed executive training programmes at Kellogg and INSEAD business schools of management.

Garth was awarded CEO of the Year 2016 at the Westpac Waikato Business Awards.

Troy Brockbank, co-opted

Troy (Te Rarawa, Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi) is a civil engineer, a water practitioner, and Kaitohutohu Matua Taiao / Senior Environmental Consultant at WSP Opus. Troy was the recipient of the 2018 Beca Young Water Professional of the Year award at the annual Water NZ conference and was previously the deputy Chair of the New Zealand Stormwater Group committee.

Troy has more than ten years professional experience in the water industry across engineering consultancies, civil contractors and suppliers. In addition, Troy will also contribute his Māori cultural understanding of water to this new board role, working alongside the board to bridge Te Ao Maori and Te Ao Pākehā.

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

“Wai (Water) is the essence of all life and the world’s most precious resource. It’s 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