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Prioritising the Future: Priority One Sustainability Forum ’23

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Prioritising the Future: Priority One Sustainability Forum ’23

Priority One Members and non-members are welcome to this event.
Date: Wednesday, 22nd March, 2023
Time: 4:00pm – 7:30pm
Venue: Trustpower Baypark Arena Suites, Upstairs, 81 Truman Lane, Mount Maunganui 3152

Register here

With a focus on large impact initiatives and encouraging business led change, join us for this sustainability themed event where we will discuss what it means to be sustainable, how you can integrate sustainable initiatives into your business, and the importance of it across our local economy.

This dynamic interactive event led by MC and CEO of NZ Story, David Downs will present keynote speaker, Jeff Smit from DETA Consulting plus an incredible panel of leaders:

  • Andrew Clennett, Chief Executive at Hiringa
  • James Flexman, Head of Sustainable Strategy & Planning at Mercury
  • Debbie O’Byrne, Circular Economy Principle at Beca
  • Andrew Fisher, Founder & Director at Ecogas
  • Nathan Searle, Head of Strategy at Ballance Agri-Nutrients
    (You can find detailed bios for each of the speakers below)

They will share their experiences in actively leading sustainable change whilst covering the topics of decarbonisation, circular economy, hydrogen, renewable energy, emissions, and mode shift.

The event will highlight the importance of collaboration and discuss the projects being delivered across Tauranga Moana which contribute to a more prosperous and sustainable economy. You will also get to see first-hand some the local mode shift options that exist across our region thanks to UBCO, GoTo Car Sharing, Farmer Autovillage, and Electrify.

Whether you have a direct interest in sustainability, or don’t know much about it, this event is for you. Get your teams together and come along to enjoy a mix and mingle as we inspire to being a more sustainable region, together.

Canapes and refreshments will be provided.
Please RSVP by Friday 17th March

Register here


  • Jeff Smit, Director at DETA Consulting
    Jeff Smit is a director and General Manager at DETA, a leading company in the decarbonisation of New Zealand industry. With his expertise, Jeff provides consultancy services to various industrial businesses in achieving their carbon reduction goals. He also works alongside the Climate Leaders Coalition to provide technical support for government briefing documents.


  • Debbie O’Byrne, Circular Economy Principal at Beca
    Debbie O’Byrne holds the position of Beca’s first Circular Economy (CE) Principal in their Sustainability Advisory team – one of the first CE roles at a Principal level in New Zealand. Debbie has over a decade of involvement in the Circular Economy space, both nationally and internationally. She has delivered a CE Masterclass for Green Building Council Australia, been appointed to the College of Assessors as a CE expert for MBIE, and is an Affiliate Academic to the University of Newcastle. She has also been appointed to the Australian Circular Economy Hub (ACEHUB) and Hunter Joint Organization Circular Procurement Working Groups, while also participating in multiple Technical Advisory Groups on workforce development and system enablers.


  • Andrew Fisher, Founder & Director at Ecogas
    Andrew Fisher is the Managing Director of both EcoStock Supplies and EcoGas Limited Partnership. He was the recipient of the Sustainability Superstar Award at the NZI New Zealand Sustainable Business Network Awards 2019. Andrew has made a significant impact on the waste minimisation sector in a relatively short amount of time. He is responsible for the development of the Ecogas Facility, New Zealand’s first anaerobic digestive facility, which is now fully operational based in Reperoa.


  • James Flexman, Head of Sustainable Strategy & Planning at Mercury
    James Flexman, Head of Sustainable Strategy & Planning at Mercury Energy, has a mechanical engineering degree from Auckland University, and 8 years’ experience in Pulp and Paper manufacturing with Carter Holt Harvey. He pursued an MBA at Oxford before joining an electricity generator/retailer in England, returning to New Zealand to rejoin Carter Holt Harvey as energy manager, and later heading their recycling company for seven years. Nine years ago, he joined Mercury NZ Limited, initially leading the Wholesale Markets function, operating hydro power stations, trading and selling electricity to commercial customers.


  • Andrew Clennett, Chief Executive at Hiringa
    Andrew Clennett is the Co-Founder and CEO of Hiringa Energy. He is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and has held several directorship and trustee positions, including former Director of Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS), Trustee of Energy Skills NZ, and is currently a board member of the New Zealand Hydrogen Council. Andrew has served on national and international industry working committees, examples including Aotearoa Circle Low Carbon Emission Roadmap Technical Advisory Group and World Energy Council Hydrogen Working Group. Andrew has over 26 years of energy industry experience and holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical and Electrical) with Honours from the University of Tasmania.


  • Nathan Searle, Head of Strategy at Ballance Agri-Nutrients
    Nathan has held several Director roles over fifteen years across the value chain of New Zealand’s largest company.  He heads up a global leadership development business and is a Tasmanian food producer.  Currently the Head of Strategy at Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Nathan is focused on evolving NZ food production to deliver more productivity on a lighter footprint and the requirement to transition large manufacturing operations to be fit for a low emissions future.  Nathan is passionate about sustainability, innovation, and agriculture, and is a regular speaker on these topics at industry conferences and events.


March 22, 2023
4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


Mercury Baypark
81 Truman Lane
Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty 3152 New Zealand
+ Google Map


Priority One