Energy hardship expert panel and reference group

Two specialist groups are being established to support government as part of its work to alleviate energy hardship in New Zealand.

Energy Hardship Expert Panel

Government has agreed to establish an Energy Hardship Expert Panel. This small group of independent experts will recommend policy priorities and actions to alleviate energy hardship in New Zealand. Nominations for the Panel closed in early 2021.

Members of the panel are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Energy Hardship Reference Group

Government is also establishing an Energy Hardship Reference Group to provide a forum to share information and encourage coordination across industry, NGOs and government agencies. The Group will help government work with others to shift the dial on energy hardship.

Nominations for the Energy Hardship Reference Group are now open.

MBIE is looking for representatives from organisations (including community organisations, consumer advocates, industry participants and regulators) with a diverse range of skills and perspectives, good connections to the kaupapa of reducing energy hardship, and who are interested in helping advise on and coordinate cohesive, cost-effective energy hardship initiatives. Key government agencies will also take part in the Reference Group.

The Reference Group will provide a forum for organisations and groups to share insights and updates on their work, and test their ideas. It will not be responsible for making decisions or delivering projects.

To nominate either yourself or someone you know, please email with the name of the nominee, a brief description of their interest and suitability for the role, and their contact details. If nominating someone else, please make sure you have their permission to put forward their name and details.

Nominations close 5:00pm, Friday 30 July.

Nominations received during an earlier call for Energy Hardship Expert Panel and Reference Group nominations remain valid and will be considered. Some funding may be available, on application, to support participation by those from the not-for-profit sector.

All nominees will be assessed against the criteria by an MBIE panel to identify the mix of people that best delivers a balanced and diverse range of perspectives, connections and skills. The size of the Reference Group is not yet determined. MBIE is committed to ensuring it will represent a range of perspectives but is mindful it needs to be a workable size.

The Reference Group will interact with, and complement the work of the Energy Hardship Expert Panel and other groups such as the newly formed Consumer Advocacy Council and ERANZ’ Consumer Care Working Group.

The establishment of energy hardship expert panel and reference group is based on the Electricity Price Review recommendation to establish a cross-sector energy hardship group.

More information

The energy hardship webpage has information on MBIE’s other related work programmes and details on how to subscribe to the Energy Hardship Update e-newsletter.

The Electricity Price Review webpage has information about MBIE’s key workstreams based on the Review’s recommendations.

Energy hardship webpage

Electricity Price Review webpage

Last updated: 13 July 2021