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Powerco Appoints Chief Executive Officer

Powerco's Board of Directors has appointed Mr James Kilty as its next Chief Executive Officer.

Mr Kilty has been with Contact Energy for nearly 20 years and has made a huge contribution to the business and to the industry in that time. He has worked in most areas of Contact’s business, led countless major initiatives, and developed many of Contact’s core systems, processes and strategies.

Mr Kilty’s most recent role has been as Deputy Chief Executive where he has led the development of Contact’s de-carbonisation strategy and delivered major projects supporting Contact’s demand growth programme, including the Tauhara geothermal power station and the development of key partnerships and business acquisitions.

Powerco Chair John Loughlin is pleased to welcome Mr Kilty to lead the company into the future.

“Supporting our communities and delivering better outcomes for our customers is what drives us at Powerco, which is why James is such a strong fit for our business. With an impressive track record in building and leading high performing teams, delivering major capital investment projects and shaping business critical strategies James brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Powerco,” says John Loughlin.

Mr Kilty will take up his position as Chief Executive Officer on 18 October 2021. Mr Kilty replaces Nigel Barbour, who leaves the business on 1 July. Mr Chris Taylor, Powerco Chief Financial Officer, will be Acting CEO until 18 October.

Looking ahead to his appointment, Mr Kilty is excited to join the second largest distributor of electricity and gas in New Zealand.

“As a provider of essential infrastructure, Powerco plays a key role within the communities it serves, and I am delighted to be joining the team at this key time in the industry. Powerco’s focus on serving its customers and evolving its networks for the future really appealed to me. It’s an exciting time in the energy sector, particularly given the opportunity that new technology and sector efficiencies present to enable a secure and low-cost transition to a low carbon future.

“With a talented team already in place, I look forward to helping drive the delivery of the final two years of Powerco’s significant five-year investment plan while also focussing on the next stage of the growth for the business,” says Mr Kilty.

About Powerco

Powerco is the second largest electricity and gas distributor in Aotearoa. We keep the lights on and the gas flowing for 1.1m customers across 452,000 homes, businesses, and organisations in the North Island. To find out more about us, visit

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