Board of directors

As a State Owned Enterprise, Transpower’s Board is appointed by its shareholder – the New Zealand Government.


Dr Keith Turner - Chair

Keith has more than 40 years’ experience in the electricity industry, having held senior executive positions in Meridian Energy (CEO), the former Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (COO), and its predecessor NZED. His experience includes extensive participation in major reform initiatives that reshaped New Zealand's electricity system including being a member of the Transpower Establishment Board, a founding Director of The Market Company (MCo) and a founding member of the Market Surveillance Committee.

Since 2008, he has held Directorships on a range of major boards in New Zealand and Australia including Fisher and Paykel Appliances (former Chair), Auckland International Airport (former Deputy Chair), Chorus, Trustpower, Team NZ (former Chair) and Australian-based Spark Infrastructure, Transgrid, Victoria Power Networks and South Australia Power Networks. Keith has a PhD in engineering, is a Distinguished Fellow of Engineering NZ and holds the Sir William Pickering Medal for Engineering Leadership. 

Dean Carroll - Deputy Chair

Dean has more than 30 years’ energy industry experience in New Zealand and internationally. His previous roles included CEO of Lumo Energy Australia and executive roles in energy, generation and trading. He has also held directorships in Infratil Energy Australia, Direct Connect Australia, Energy Retailers Association of Australia, and Energy Online.  



Richard Aitken

Richard has spent more than 40 years with multi-disciplinary consultancy Beca and eight years as Executive Chairman, stepping down in April 2017. He is widely recognised as a leader in the engineering sector, and is an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to business and engineering. Richard has served on the Boards of Trustpower, Manukau Wastewater services, Panuku Development Auckland and Hutt Valley Water Services, and is currently the Chair of the Te Pūnaha Matatini Advisory Board. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Auckland in 2016.

Parekawhia McLean

Parekawhia McLean (Ngāti Mahanga, Waikato, Ngāti Maniapoto) has over 20 years of public sector policy and management experience, including advisory roles in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. She is the inaugural Chief Executive of Te Kaahui Taatari Ture/Criminal Cases Review Commission and has previously held executive leadership roles at Counties Manakau DHB and Waka Kotahi. She was CEO of Waikato-Tainui between 2010 and 2016.

Parekawhia is current Chair of Te Whakakitenga o Waikato (TWOW), the governing body of Waikato-Tainui, and has held numerous governance roles, including with the National Science Resilience Challenge, Mercury Energy, Te Mangai Paho and Waikato Means Business. She has Masters’ degrees in Social Sciences from the University of Waikato and in Public Administration and Development Policy from the University of Wisconsin.

Roger Blakeley

Dr Roger Blakeley is currently an elected member of the Greater Wellington Regional Council and is Chair of the Council’s Transport Committee. Dr Blakeley is also an elected member of the Capital & Coast District Health Board. An independent consultant and qualified civil engineer, his roles have included Chief Executive of the Ministry for the Environment, Department of Internal Affairs, and Porirua City Council. Roger has a PhD in earthquake engineering and is a Distinguished Fellow of Engineering New Zealand.

Heather Simpson 

Heather has extensive Government and policy experience including as Chief of Staff for the Prime Minister and Special Advisor to the United Nations Development programme. She has led a range of Government reviews and groups including a review of the New Zealand health and disability system and a new group to support the Ministry of Health in improving COVID-19 border security, and holds a BA(Hons) in Economics.

Michele Embling 

Michele has over ten years’ experience as a Chair and Board Member for multiple private, not for profit, and public sector entities, including her current appointments as Chair of the External Reporting Board (XRB) and Board Member of Toitū Tahua - The Centre for Sustainable Finance.

Michele served as the Chair of PwC in New Zealand from 2016 to 2020, was a partner for 15 years and held numerous leadership, executive and governance roles within PwC in New Zealand and Asia. She is committed to growing diverse and inclusive leadership for the benefit of Aotearoa New Zealand, and served as Co-Chair of Champions for Change from 2018 to 2020 and from 2011 to 2018 was a board member and Deputy Chair of Global Women.

Current other roles include non-executive Director of Power Finance Limited, Board member of the Australian Financial Reporting Council, Deputy Chair of the University of Auckland’s Business School Advisory Board, and independent New Zealand member of the Nominations and Governance Committee of Chartered Accountants. 

Vanessa Oakley

Vanessa has considerable experience in corporate and public sector organisations in both Aotearoa New Zealand and in the UK. She was most recently Chief General Counsel of ACC and has previously been General Manager Strategy and Business Operations for Chorus Limited, and Assistant General Counsel for the Commerce Commission. She has extensive experience in regulated industries, particularly in infrastructure and utilities.

Vanessa has governance experience across a range of sectors. She holds an LLB (Hons) from Otago University.