Our people

Our directors

Paul Munro

B.Com (Finance & Accounting), FCA, CFInstD

Paul joined the Orion board for the second time as a director in February 2022 and was appointed chair on 31 August 2022. He was Chief Executive of Christchurch City Holdings Limited for almost six years until March 2022. Prior to CCHL, Paul was a Corporate Finance Partner with Deloitte for 24 years. He was a director of Orion from 2012 to 2016, and is currently a director of EA Networks, Tait International, NZ King Salmon Investments, Online Distribution, Lynn River, and MHV Water. He is a Chartered Accountant Fellow of CAANZ and a Chartered Fellow of the IoD.

Jen Crawford

BA (Hons) LLB, CFInstD

Jen was appointed as an Orion director in August 2021. She is a professional director with a background in resource management and infrastructure projects. Jen has governance experience in a range of sectors and practiced for more than 20 years as a specialist lawyer in New Zealand and the UK, including as a Partner at Anderson Lloyd. Jen is currently a director of ChristchurchNZ, Nelmac, MHV Water and Chair of Rangitata Diversion Race Management Limited. Jen is a Chartered Fellow of the IoD and a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

Vena Crawley


Vena was appointed as an Orion director in March 2024. He holds a number of governance roles and is currently a Non-Executive Director at Summerset Group, Independent board member on Te Whatu Ora sub-committee for People, Culture & Development, Chair of the Business School Advisory Board at Auckland University of Technology, a member of the IoD Pacific Governance Advisory Group and recently completed an extended term as the Future Director at The Warehouse Group.

Sally Farrier

BE (Hons), MBA, GDipAppFin

Sally was appointed as an Orion director in August 2020.  She has more than 20 years’ experience as non-executive director with specialist expertise in economic regulation and governance of energy, utilities and infrastructure. Sally is a director of Arc Innovations and Bluecurrent, Australia, and is a former director of Meridian Energy. She has served on Ministerial panels, determination and review bodies related to pricing, planning and reform. She is an active angel investor and was a member of the team that founded Patientrack in the early 2000s.

Jason McDonald

BE Elec (Hons), MBA (Technology Management)

Jason was appointed as an Orion director in August 2017 and is a director of Orion’s subsidiary Connetics. He is an independent energy consultant and professional director. He is currently a director on the Clarus group of companies, Helios Energy and CentrePort. He was previously a director of Mevo, Top Energy and Red Bus. Jason has 30 years experience in the energy sector including a number of executive roles at Meridian. He is a Chartered Member of the NZ Institute of Directors. 

Mike Sang


Mike was appointed as an Orion director in August 2021. He has a finance background with a career in a variety of sectors including roles as CEO of Ngai Tahu Holdings and CFO of PGG Wrightson. He is a professional director and has had a number of directorships with current roles including Government Super Fund Authority, BRANZ and Comvita. Mike is a Chartered Member of the IOD and a Chartered Accountant with CAANZ.   

Our leaders

Nigel Barbour

Orion Group Chief Executive

Nigel was appointed Orion Group Chief Executive in July 2021. He leads the Orion Group which comprises Orion’s central Canterbury electricity distribution business and our wholly owned subsidiary, Connetics. Prior to joining Orion Group, Nigel was Chief Executive of Powerco, New Zealand’s second largest electricity distribution business, based in New Plymouth. He was with Powerco for 19 years in a range of executive management positions including nine as Chief Executive. Nigel has an economics and legal background and previously held roles with Transpower and the Bank of New Zealand.

Sam Elder

GM Energy Futures

Sam leads Orion Group’s Energy Futures team, collaborating to develop new, innovative energy solutions for a cleaner, brighter future for our community. Sam started out as a spacecraft thermal systems engineer in the UK, before moving to NZ in 2006. Since then she has held a range of leadership roles including Retail Insight Manager at Meridian Energy, South Island Director at the Ākina Foundation, and Senior Strategy Manager at Environment Canterbury. Sam has an MSc in Advanced Energy & Environmental Studies, including a thesis exploring smart heating solutions to energy hardship in Aotearoa NZ.

David Freeman-Greene

GM Future Network

David leads Orion’s future network business, ensuring we meet the needs of our customers today and into the future. He leads teams responsible for Asset Management, Information Solutions, Asset Information, Regulatory, Commercial, Customer and Communications. David was previously Orion GM Commercial and GM Account and Business Development at Telecom Wholesale. He has a broad legal, commercial and regulatory background with extensive experience in the electricity and telecommunications sectors and, prior to that, was in private practice as a lawyer.

Vaughan Hartland

Chief Financial Officer

Vaughan leads the Value Optimisation and Finance teams. He is a chartered accountant with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. Vaughan joined Orion in 2017.



Steve Macdonald

GM Electricity Network

Steve leads Orion's Electricity Network team, which is responsible for the safe construction, maintenance, engineering and operation of Orion's electricity distribution network. He has more than 25 years’ experience in different roles within Orion, and in the Orion Group company, Connetics.


Duane Makin

GM Digital, Data and Tecnology

Duane leads Orion’s Digital, Data and Technology teams responsible for leading the digital transformation of the Orion Group. Appointed in March 2022, Duane is a technology leader with more than 20 years of experience in both local and global roles across a number of sectors including energy and utilities. Duane joins Orion Group from the health sector where he was the Chief Technology Officer of ProCare He has previously held leadership roles in Atlantis Healthcare and Auckland electricity and gas distributer, Vector.

John Thompson

Chief Executive, Connetics

John was appointed Chief Executive of Orion's wholly owned subsidiary, Connetics, in June 2021. He has been with Connetics for more than 29 years in a variety of roles. John is a chartered accountant with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.


Alice van den Hout

GM Purpose and Performance

Alice leads Orion Group’s Purpose and Performance team which drives the Orion Group to achieve our Group strategy. She leads teams responsible for Orion People & Capability, and Group-wide Sustainability, Reporting and Risk, and High Performance Systems. Alice joined the Orion Group in December 2021 from the dairy industry, with a strong background managing teams and creating environments for teams to thrive. She has worked across a broad range of roles in New Zealand and overseas, building a strong record of achievement in health and safety, quality, sustainability, productivity, yield, cost control efficiency and workplace culture.


Karen Wiese

Chief Governance Officer

Karen leads our internal and external governance reporting as well as managing our insurance programme. Karen has more than 25 years’ of diverse experience in the electricity industry, primarily in finance, risk and governance. Karen’s role supports Orion Group’s continued success through our purpose and strategic goals.


Nic Wong

GM Growth and Development

Nic was appointed in August 2021 to lead the team exploring new opportunities and ventures for the Orion Group. He is a tertiary qualified electrical engineer with almost 30 years’ experience in the both the New Zealand and Australian electricity sector. He has a broad background in technical sales and marketing, project and commercial management, manufacturing and operations. Nic was previously Head of Growth & Commercialisation and Design & Engineering with Connetics.