Environmental Protection Authority chair and deputy announced

The new Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Board chairperson and deputy were announced by Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today.

The new chairperson is Julie Hardaker and her deputy is Steven Tipene Wilson.

The EPA board is responsible for the EPA’s governance. The EPA makes decisions for and regulates hazardous substances and new organisms as well as specified marine activities in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone. It also provides administrative support for the decision-making on major infrastructure and called in projects under the Resource Management Act and operates the New Zealand Emissions Trading Register under the Emissions Trading Scheme.

“Former Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker brings a depth and breadth of experience to the role including knowledge of central and local government processes, financial accountability, risk monitoring and public and employment law.

“Ms Hardaker also received the Order of Te Arikinui Queen Te Atarangikaahu in 2016 for services to Māori, and has a strong interest in environmental issues and protection,” Eugenie Sage said.

“Steven (Tipene) Wilson will be a strong Deputy Chair for the EPA as he brings his experience as Current Deputy and former Chair of Ngā Kaihautū Tikanga Taiao, the EPA’s Māori Statutory Advisory Committee to the role.

“Mr Wilson has worked with various iwi on environmental management, helped an iwi Environmental Management Plan team win a NZ Planning Institute Best Practice award in strategic planning and guidance, and has knowledge of central government and regional council processes.”

Outgoing Chair Kerry Prendergast has served the EPA Board since its inception in 2011. She was joined by Deputy Chair Kevin Thompson in 2012.

“I thank them both for their work. Together their steady leadership has provided the EPA a solid foundation and a good direction for the future.”

Other appointments are Dr Gerda Kuschel and Professor Jeroen Douwes who replace Kura Denness and  Geoff Thompson.

Dayle Hunia, Tim Lusk, Gillian Wratt and Nicki Crauford will continue as EPA board members.

Media contact: Maggie Tait 0273-469-570

EPA Board appointments 2018 – short biographies of appointees

  • Julie Hardaker governed as the Mayor of Hamilton from 2010-2016, leading the council through governance and financial restructuring, risk monitoring and establishing new organisational responsibilities. She led a number of review processes, including the Tainui Waikato/Ruakura Board of Inquiry, and has a sound understanding of regulation, financial accountability, and links between the economy and the environment. Julie is currently on the Ministry for the Environment Waste Minimisation Fund Panel.

In her time on the Vibrant Hamilton Trust she was accountable for multi-million dollar investment decisions, and has held Chair positions for the Waikato NZSPCA, McCaw Lewis Chapman, and the People's Project. Her law firm provides governance advice and specialises in public and employment law, and she has a broad knowledge of central and local government issues. She received the Order of Te Arikinui Queen Te Atarangikaahu in 2016 for services to Māori, and has a strong interest in environmental issues and protection.

  • Steven (Tipene) Wilson is the Current Deputy and former Chair of Ngā Kaihautū Tikanga Taiao, the EPA’s Māori Statutory Advisory Committee. He is retiring from this role in July 2018. In addition to being the current CEO of Maximise Consultancy, an organisation building relationships and value in Māori organisations and working with corporate and government partners, Steven has held a number of governance and leadership positions and has been recognised for helping develop the EPA's credibility and relationships with iwi and Māori. He has worked with various iwi on environmental management, helped an iwi  Environmental Management Plan team which won a NZ Planning Institute Best Practice award in strategic planning and guidance, and has knowledge of central government and regional council processes. He identifies his facilitation skills as one of his strengths, and facilitated a Māori national network wānanga on hazardous substances.
  • Dr Gerda Kuschel is currently the Director of Emission Impossible, and has previously held management positions at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and Auckland Regional Council. From an engineering background, Gerda has technical expertise on air quality, environmental management, climate change and energy along with significant industry experience and knowledge. She has a keen interest in the challenge of balancing sustainable development with sustainable environmental quality, and has acted as Deputy Chair on two EEZ decision-making committees considering applications from the oil and gas industries.
  • Prof Jeroen Douwes is the Director of the Centre for Public Health Research at Massey University and has extensive public health research and committee experience. He is a leading expert  in occupational and environmental health and exposure assessment, particularly with respect to pesticides and other hazardous substances. He serves on the board of the Health Research Council and has collaborated with international organisations such as the World Health Organisation and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Through his work Jeroen has gained considerable knowledge of health consequences associated with chemicals and hazardous substances, and will provide the Board with unique insights from a public health and end-use perspective.
  • Dayle Hunia has a background in environmental management and Maori economic development. She is currently the Executive Director of Kotuku Systems Limited — a business, IT and environmental consultancy firm based in Whakatane. She sits on a range of boards with Maori interests and is also an Independent Environmental Commissioner. Dayle brings a range of perspectives to the EPA Board and has a proven track record of implementing positive change across a range of commercial and not-for-profit entities.