NZWEA's interim chair, Alistair Wilson, told members that energy operators must co-operate to provide the wind industry with a firm footing. Leave your rivalries at the door, he advised. "While it's a competitive business, there will be a need to share information. It is a case of the industry working together to achieve better outcomes for all." This strategy was appreciated by the conference underwriters, New Zealand's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, whose key theme of "enlightened co-operation" has helped facilitate the establishment of NZWEA.
The authority is an independent government agency concerned with promoting greater energy efficiency and with improving the sustainability of the country's energy use. A conference speaker said EECA is "the single national policy bright spot" in a national energy policy that otherwise has little to offer renewables. The seven big players supporting NZWEA include the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand, Tararua Wind Power Ltd, Wairarapa Electricity Ltd, DesignPower NZ Ltd and TransAlta NZ Ltd. Newly elected NZWEA chairman Paul van Lieshout said he was pleased with the association's board, with representatives from the main corporate interests as well as from small, independent developers. "I believe we have a very good start-up base and we'll definitely prove our reason for existence," said Van Lieshout.