Marine Energy Regional Research Institute Proposal

Dr Gareth Gretton, Chair, Aotearoa Wave and Tidal Energy Association.

The Aotearoa Wave and Tidal Energy Association is hugely supportive of a Regional Research Institute for marine energy, and the Taranaki region, with its offshore engineering expertise, and its wave energy resource, is an ideal candidate for this.

Governments around the world, including the UK, the US and Australia, have realized that marine energy is one of the sustainable energy technologies of the future, and they have supported this by establishing research and development centres, similar to RRIs. The European Marine Energy Centre in the Orkney Islands of the UK was one of the first, and it has had a transformative effect on the economy there.

NZ has been at the forefront of wave energy developments with, for example, the WET-NZ device, tested in the waters off Christchurch and Wellington. Now known as AzuraWave, it is being tested in Hawaii with US funding. An RRI for marine energy could help these developments to continue in NZ, with benefits for the NZ economy. Further projects are also in the pipeline, and would benefit from the catalysing effect of a RRI.

AWATEA Strategy Workshop


AWATEA is hosting a Strategy Workshop in Wellington at 9am-1pm on Wednesday 17 August 2016. The purpose of the workshop is to set AWATEA’s priorities for the next 1,2,5 and 10 years and all interested parties are invited to come and participate.

We’ll confirm the exact location and further details closer to the day. In the meantime, please put the time and date in your calendars and register your interest by emailing (so we can gauge numbers).

Register today – only three weeks to go!

poster top

There’s only three weeks until our 10th Annual Conference, which will be held on Thursday 19 May at the Royal Society Conference Centre in Wellington.

Make sure you register today to ensure your place at New Zealand’s only marine renewable event of the year. 

Click here to be directed to the booking form and payment page

The programme and further information can be found on our conference page

This year’s event is sponsored by:


Programme Released

gareth grettonI’m delighted to announce today the programme for this year’s AWATEA conference.

In keeping with the theme of “Global Advances”, the morning sessions will feature a wide range of international speakers giving us an update on activities in their field. These include both industry and academic speakers covering topics including technology, business development, and environmental monitoring. The majority of these speakers will be in Wellington, while others will be in the UK and US and presenting live via video link. Questions and answers will be available for the remote speakers as usual. I believe this may be a first for an AWATEA conference!

This year also marks 10 years since the inception of AWATEA, and the 10th Annual Conference. This provides an ideal opportunity for a reflection on these 10 years, and the afternoon sessions will provide an opportunity for this. I believe we need to celebrate the achievements which have taken place in this time – and there are many – and also examine what our priorities should be going forwards.

I now encourage AWATEA members, past and present, to register for this event. Be inspired again by the global advances highlighted by our international speakers and join in the discussion on 10 years of AWATEA.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Gareth Gretton

  • Click here for the full programme and more information on the event



10th Annual Marine Energy Conference

poster top

AWATEA is hosting its 10th Annual Marine Energy Conference: “Global Advances” on Thursday 19 May at the Royal Society Conference Centre in Wellington.

This conference is New Zealand’s primary forum for professionals and researchers to participate in knowledge-sharing on the latest wave and tidal energy issues, innovation and best practice.

In celebration of the past decade of events, AWATEA will bring together prominent professionals from around the world for a wide-ranging review of national and international marine energy developments.

The program will lead delegates through a series of talks by international experts in the morning, followed by an afternoon session with more of a local focus – a retrospective look at national activities and discussions on the potential of the industry here in NZ. The ever-popular networking reception will be held at the end of the day, followed by a dinner available to all registrants.

Don’t miss New Zealand’s only marine renewable energy event of the year!

Online registration opens mid-April

poster bottom

Conference 2016

AWATEA is delighted to announce that its annual conference will be held on Thursday 19th May 2016 at the Royal Society of New, Zealand, Wellington.


More exciting details will be available soon.

AGM 2015 Announcement

AWATEA is delighted to announce that the 9th Annual General Meeting 2015 will be held in on Friday 4th December 2015 at 1.30pm at NIWA, 301 Evans Bay Parade, Kilbirnie in Wellington.


Nominations for the Board must be received at the AWATEA office (email: by 17:00 on Friday 27th November 2015 at the latest.

Voting forms and more information shall soon be available on the member’s web page.

Public Lecture: Interactions in Offshore Foundation Design

On Wednesday 6th May the New Zealand Geotechnical Society and Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) are hosting a presentation as part of the 54th BGA Rankine Lecture series.

Professor Guy Houlsby from the University of Oxford will be presenting on Interactions in Offshore Foundation Design.

As a public lecture, you are invited to enjoy a selection of refreshments from 5.30pm. The presentation will start at 6pm and take approximately 100 minutes.

The event will be held at The Royal Society of New Zealand, 11 Turnbull Street, Thorndon, Wellington.

Many thanks to our sponsor Geotechnics.

For more details, click here


To book a place: RSVP by Monday 27 April to: Jo Conway,

Annual Conference 2015

AWATEA will be holding its Annual Conference on Thursday 7th May 2015 at the Royal Society of New Zealand in Thorndon, Wellington.

Speakers will include people from MetOcean, Motu, NIWA, GNS, University of Otago and more.

You’ll hear about:

  • Latest developments at Azura, New Zealand’s leading marine energy development (recently featured on Radio NZ).
  • Fast paced quick-talk session Powered by Pecha Kucha that gives brief speaking slots to a range of new ideas.
  • An announcement confirming exciting international speakers is pending.
  • Overview of the invitation-only Callaghan Innovation workshop on Marine Energy Acceleration.
  • Update on the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge.
  • Update on the proposed Marine Energy Centre and its connections with EMEC.
  • New educational initiatives.
  • Round-table discussion on the future of AWATEA – have your say.


Register for the conference here.


AGM 2014 Results

The 8th AWATEA AGM was held on Thursday 11th December 2014 at NIWA, Greta Point, Wellington with great success. A quorum under the rules was achieved and all three of the proposed motions were passed which included expanding the number of elected Board members and the transformation of the Association to an unpaid Chair-led organisation.  More details of the amendments made and the new Board can be found on the Members page and here:

Attendees were also given presentations on the current state of AWATEA, an update from Derek Shotbolt on EHL Group’s Wave Energy Device poised to be deployed in Hawaii and the latest news on the New Zealand Marine Energy Centre. Gareth Gretton from WelTec described several exciting educational initiatives that AWATEA is pursuing, whilst Kennie Tsui from MBIE talked through various government initiatives and opportunities.

Gratitude was expressed to the long-standing board member of AWATEA, present at the Association’s inception, Alexander Malahoff, now standing down from the Board.

The Board would like to thank all who attended the 2014 AGM and those members who sent in their votes when not able to be present themselves.