Speakers for the 2019 event include:


Mick Wilkes

President and Chief Executive Officer

Mick is a mining engineer with approximately 30 years of broad international experience, predominantly in precious and base metals. He has worked in leadership roles on a number of mines throughout Australia and Asia. Mick has a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) from the University of Queensland, a Master of Business Administration from Deakin University, and is a member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  

Hon Dr Megan Woods

Minister of Energy and Resources

Hon Dr Megan Woods is a Christchurch local, and has been the Member of Parliament for Wigram since 2011. Following the 2017 election, Megan was sworn in as a Minister of the Crown with portfolio responsibilities including the Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Energy and Resources, Research, Science and Innovation, and responsibility for the Earthquake Commission. In Opposition, Megan held various portfolios - including Climate Change and Canterbury Issues - helping her to gain an understanding of a wide range of issues and build important relationships, especially in Christchurch.

Richard Tacon

Chief Executive Officer
Bathurst Resources

Richard lived in Australia for 32 years, holding several management roles in coal mines around the country before returning to New Zealand to take up the position of Chief Operating Officer in 2012, then being appointed as Chief Executive Officer in March 2015. He has also spent 15 years on a rescue crew, is the Chair of the Coal Association of New Zealand and sits on the board of the New Zealand Mines Rescue Trust and Straterra as well as other industry stakeholder organisations. 

Brent Francis

Chief Executive Officer
New Zealand Coal & Carbon

Working in the mining sector for more than 30 years, Brent has extensive experience in the operations and marketing areas of the sector. Brent is an active participant in the coal industry. He is the Chairman of Straterra, Deputy Chair of the Coal Association of NZ, and a Director of CRL Energy.

Charlie Gawith

Underground Mine Manager

Charlie is a Mining Engineer who is a graduate of the Camborne School of Mines, U.K. He has 20 years of broad international experience predominantly in mining operations in sub-Sahara Africa, Australia and New Zealand covering various commodities such as Nickel, Tantalum, Silver and Gold. He holds First Class Mine Managers Certificates of Competency from both Western Australia and New Zealand and is a AusIMM Chartered Professional in Mining.

Troy Dougherty

Chief Technology Officer

Troy is a materials scientist who oversees R&D, production and technical marketing at Nuenz.  While working at CRL Energy, Troy discovered a way to produce advanced materials from NZ coal and sand.  This technology has now been spun out with investment to form Nuenz.  Troy will discuss the story of how the technology has developed from initial discovery through to marketing our technology to customers around the world.

David Haines

Haines Planning

David Haines is a Chartered Water and Environmental Manager and a Chartered Town Planner. He combines his environmental, regulatory and strategic planning skills to assist clients in the concrete manufacturing and extractive industries. Over the past 15 years, David has been involved in obtaining numerous land use and regional consents for the recycling and re-use of products in the concrete manufacturing sector. He also assists clients by interfacing with regulators on RMA monitoring and compliance matters.

David Darby

Manager, Commercial Analysis and Investment
New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

David leads the commercial analysis and investment team at NZP&M. His team promotes New Zealand’s petroleum and minerals sectors to potential investors around the globe. David has more than 20 years’ experience in the upstream oil and gas sector. Prior to joining NZP&M in 2015, David worked for Maersk Oil in the UK, and has previously held roles with GNS Science, Ikon and BG Group.

Stephen Esposito

General Manager - Operations

Stephen has over 25 years of experience in operations, risk management and strategy development. A civil engineer, he worked for a large consulting company in Canada prior to joining Solid Energy where he held a range of senior roles, including General Manager of Opencast Mining Operations. Stephen now leads the operational team at Ravensdown, responsible for leading three fertiliser manufacturing sites and a number of lime quarries. 

Tony Haworth

Campbell MacPherson

Tony has over 20 years of experience spanning a variety of technical, corporate and governance roles across the minerals industry and as a corporate advisor/investment banker. Tony has worked both internationally and in New Zealand for companies ranging from start-ups to established private and public listed entities. His previous roles include General Manager of National Mining Company in Oman, Director of Liberty Gold Corporation in London and Geologist with Heritage Gold. He is currently an Independent Director of New Talisman Gold Mines.

Dave Cull

Mayor of Dunedin City

Dave was elected Dunedin City Council Mayor in 2010 and has been heavily involved in the Dunedin community since 2007. He is also the President of LGNZ, since being appointed in July 2017. He completed a BA in Political Science at the University of Otago and worked part-time as a teacher and in the building industry.

Chris Pullen

Environmental Manager
Westland Milk Products

Originally from Zimbabwe, Chris worked in environmental agencies for 21 years before emigrating to New Zealand. He has lived and worked on the South Island’s West Coast for 19 years', more than half of which he spent working for the West Coast Regional Council where he formed close working relationships with both the dairy and mining industries, each of which has faced its share of environmental challenges. Chris is now with Westland Milk Products, where he has been the Environmental Manager for eight years. 

Shane Jones

Minister for Regional Economic Development
New Zealand First

Shane is a List MP based in Kerikeri. He was Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development, with a particular focus on fisheries, agriculture and tourism. Mr Jones was a Member of Parliament from 2005 to 2014. During his time in Parliament, he held positions which included Minister of Building and Construction, Associate Minister of Immigration, Associate Minister of Trade, Associate Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, and Chair of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.

Dave Bellett

Deputy Chief Inspector - Extractives

Dave Bellett is employed by WorkSafe New Zealand as Deputy Chief Inspector of Mines, Tunnels and Quarries. He works in a small team called the High Hazard Unit that was set up following the Pike River Mine Disaster. Dave has 22 years’ experience as an Inspector primarily in the investigations area. He has experience in risk management, emergency management, health and safety management systems, accident causation analysis and human factors. Dave currently manages the operational arm of the High Hazard Unit working in mines, tunnels and quarries within NZ.

Jonathan Young

Spokesperson for Energy and Resources and MP for New Plymouth
National Party

New Plymouth MP Young, regained his seat in the 2017 General Election with a majority of 7276 votes, is the energy and resources spokesperson for the National Party.

The role comprises not just oil and gas but the electrical sector, gold mining and any other extractive industry.

Steve Riddell

Executive Director

Steve has been involved in the mining and extractive industry for over 40 years.  He has extensive experience in governance in both the commercial and non-profit sectors and has held various technical, managerial and senior executive roles during his career.  Steve has vast experience and knowledge of the minerals permitting regime and the RMA consenting process and has successfully led and obtained numerous consents throughout his career including two recent direct referrals to the Environment Court.  Steve is a member and Chartered Director of the New Zealand Institute of Directors. 

Craig Pilcher

General Manager, New Zealand

Craig has over 30 years of experience in the New Zealand mining industry and has spent his entire career in the South Island of New Zealand where PLAMAN’s operations are located. Prior to joining PLAMAN, he spent nearly 6 years with Bathurst Resources, where he was most recently General Manager of Domestic Marketing & Business Development. During his time at Bathurst, Craig played a key role in the establishment and growth of the Takitimu, Cascade and Canterbury coal mines. 

Wayne Scott

Chief Executive Officer

Wayne Scott was recently appointed CEO for MinEx, the national health and safety council for the New Zealand mining and quarrying industry. He has extensive experience in the quarrying industry, both in NSW and Queensland, and for the past 8 years has been an Inspector of Mines – Small Mines Strategy, with the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines. He has an advanced diploma in extractive industries, a number of safety and training qualifications, is a Certified Practicing Quarry Manager in Australia, was Institute of Quarrying Australia National President in 2012 and 2013 and is now a Fellow.

Dale Sims


Dale is in his second term as a Director of AusIMM, having joined the Board at the start of 2013. A geologist with over 30 years' experience, he has been involved with the Institute since becoming a member in 1989 while working at Mount Isa. Dale has been active with the Geoscience Society (and its precursors) since 2000 working as Chair and Deputy Chair in recent years and currently Chairs the Publications Committee and Asia Taskforce.

Mike Meehan

Chief Executive Officer
West Coast Regional Council

Mike was appointed as the Chief Executive of the West Coast Regional Council in 2016 following 11 years in various roles in the organisation. Experience as a Compliance Officer, a Planning Manager and as a Chief Executive has seen Mike interact with all levels in the mining sector. Mike also holds positions on the LGNZ Policy Advisory Group, Chairs the Civil Defence Coordinating Executive Group and is also currently Chairman of the West Coast Rugby Union.

Tony Hogg

Chief Executive Officer

It has recently been announced that Tony will be taking on the role of Chief Executive of NZIMMR in June this year. He is returning to his home on the West Coast after more than a decade working in the International research, development and commercialisation field. Tony's background spans the industry, primarily focused on the electricity reticulation of the sector both in New Zealand and overseas. 

Ilana Miller

National Manager Minerals
New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Ilana manages the team responsible for the allocation and management of the Crown's mineral portfolio. Her team works closely with other government agencies, particularly those involved in regulation of the sector. Ilana has held roles in both the private and public sectors; prior to joining NZP&M she worked at the Environmental Protection Authority. Ilana holds a degree in science and a post graduate qualification in environmental management.

John McGagh

McGagh Advisory

A Global Executive with significant experience working in and with Executive teams and Boards to deliver at-scale business improvement through the successful implementation of innovative change.

Director/Founder-Investor in Interlate (www.interlate.com). A cutting edge digital venture bringing together real time "big" data, advanced analytics, machine learning and people-to-people collaborative technologies to deliver process improvements and demonstrable value to the mining and mineral industries. 

Chris Baker

Chief Executive Officer

Chris’ experience spans more than 35 years in mining and energy in Australia and New Zealand, in executive governance roles and across many commodities – in particular gold and coal. He also chairs ASX-listed mineral exploration company Explaurum, MinEx, RSC Mining & Mineral Exploration, and is a director of the MITO.

Eamon Moynihan

Echo Mine Manager
New Zealand Coal & Carbon

Eamon is a 4th generation coal miner who is currently the SSE and Mine Manager of both the Echo and New Creek coal mines in the Buller region. He is a great believer in comradery in the workplace, which creates a health and safety conscious environment by developing a culture of watching out for your brothers and sisters in and out of high-vis.