Management Team

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Chief Executive Office

Robert Matthews commenced as Chief Executive of Tonga Power Limited on March 9, 2015. Prior to joining Tonga Power, Robert held extensive senior executive management and director positions across the electricity industry. His roles included heading transmission & distribution, engineering and design for power utilities, heavy industry electrical contracting through to the commercialization of emerging technologies including renewable energy generation for start-up enterprises.
Prior to joining Tonga Power Limited, Robert was a Director of the Board and Chief Operating Officer for True Value Solar, the largest single provider of roof top solar generation in Australia with revenues of approx. AU$180 million.
  Robert is currently a Director of the Board for Tonga Gas Limited, Home Gas Limited, Pacific Power Association and New Zealand Pacific Solar Storage Council (NZPSSC). He is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and former associate member of the CEO Institute Melbourne.
  Robert has previously served as Director and Chief Executive of the Australian operations for Ausra Inc., a US based OEM Solar Thermal technology provider. He was formally Managing Director of engineering design and construction Company Vemtec, executive GM with PowerNet (now Ausnet) and Divisional Manager with electrical contracting company Nilsen Electric.
 

Robert holds electrical and Industrial Instrumentation engineering qualifications from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with business management studies from RMIT and the University of South Australia.


Risk and Compliance Manager

Sosefina Maileseni commenced work on 18 May 2015 as Project Accountant for Tonga Power Ltd. Prior to joining Tonga Power, Sosefina worked for the National Reserve Bank of Tonga after graduating with a commerce degree from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand in 2005.
Sosefina started working as currency officer at the National Reserve Bank of Tonga from 2005-2007 then transferred to the Financial Institutions (Banks) Department of the National Reserve Bank of Tonga from 1st July 2008 to 2015. 
  She was later promoted to Manager Financial Institutions – Non Banks in July 2015, where she was responsible for the licensing and supervision of non-bank licensed financial institution in Tonga as well as providing oversight over payment system and financial literacy in the kingdom.
  Josephine was appointed to her new role as Risk and Compliance Manager in October 2015.

General Manager: Operations

Setiaia Chen commenced work in September 2012 as Design and Planning Manager for Tonga Power Limited. Prior to joining Tonga Power, Seti worked for Electrix Limited since 2005 after graduating with an Engineering degree from Auckland University of Technology in Electrical Electronics. In October 2015, Seti was appointed to her new role as Tonga Power’s General Manager: Operations. Seti worked as a Transmission Line Engineer from 2005 to 2009 for Electrix Limited in the High Voltage Transmission Line Services based in Palmerston North looking after the New Zealand High Voltage network owned by Transpower.
 
   He has been involved in a variety of projects from re-conductoring, foundation installation, transmission line pole and tower build, maintenance and fault response on the HV Network.
In 2009 Mr Chen was promoted to Project Manager for all major HV projects from which the Electrix Palmerston North branch was involved in. Seti Chen achieved a National Diploma in Project Management (NZQA) and also a Diploma in Project Management NZI. He is an active member of GIPENZ (Institute of Professional Engineers NZ).

 


Administration Manager

Henrietta Lavemai joined Tonga Power Ltd as the CEO’s Executive Assistant and Senior Administration Manager. Prior to joining Tonga Power Ltd, Henrietta had worked for the Tonga Development Bank for over two years and the ANZ Bank for over 15 years. In 2009, she joined Tonga Power from FEXCO, a financial services company focusing on foreign exchange and payment. In 1991, Henrietta graduated from Edith Cowan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences. She was appointed to her new role as Tonga Power’s Administration Manager in October 2015. The position primarily supports the CEO but also provides support for the wider Executive team including office management functions.
 

Human Resource Manager

‘Alisi is presently the human resources manager at Tonga Power Ltd. Her overall responsibilities are: maintains and enhances the organization’s human resources by planning, implementing, and evaluating employee relations and human resources policies programs, and practices. Job duties includes interviewing, recruiting, coaching and counselling, hearing and residing employer grievances etc. Human Resources Manager will report directly to General Manager – Finance.
 
 
   

Major Projects Manager

Simon Wilson joined Tonga Power in February 2015 as Project Manager for the Tonga Village Network Upgrade Project. In October 2015, Simon was appointed to his new role as Major Projects Manager where he is responsible for all major projects.
Simon has worked in construction management positions in both New Zealand and Australia since 2007. This includes work as a Project Manager for Transpower NZ Ltd from 2007 - 2011 managing multiple projects to connect new generation to the grid and to refurbish and update transmission lines.
 

More recently Simon has been living and working in Perth, Western Australia both as a Project Manager for SKM in their power and energy division and for Leighton Contractors. While with Leighton Contractors Simon was involved in the construction of an iron ore processing and transport facility and then in the construction of a 2.5km LNG Jetty where he was the lead engineer.

Simon has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Canterbury and has completed the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) qualification.


Finance Manager

Steven joined Tonga Power in February 2009 as their new Finance Manager. He brings to the job vast work experience as an accountant for the Tonga Broadcasting Commission and Ports Authority Tonga.  He is incharge of TPL’s finance, corporate customer service, revenue collection, billing, information technology and the outer island TPL offices totalling more than 40 staff.
During his time at Tonga Power, he has had the privilege of working under the leadership of three TPL CEO’s, Mr David Wright, Mr Peter McGill
 

and Mr. John van Brink and under two chairmen Mr David Wright and Mr Carl Sanft. Some of Mr ‘Esau’s milestones are: TPL adopting – The International Financial Reporting Standards - IFRS accounting standard since 2009; TPL achieving 9% return on Equity, success in managing TPL’s cash flows and NPAT since 2009; Negotiations that lead to the successful purchase of Tonga Gas Ltd from Origin Australia Ltd and Fiji Gas Ltd; negotiations team that lead to the successful purchase of Home Gas from Tonga investment Ltd; implementing a new power billing system called Orion Billing System and contribution to various Tonga Power projects. Steven was acting Chief Executive for TPL for over 5 months and is a Director of the Home Gas & Tonga Gas Ltd Board. Being part of the TPL Team of professionals and outstanding CEOs, and under the direction of the TPL Board has placed TPL at the forefront of the best power utilities in the Pacific according to ADB/WB Studies and PPA Benchmarking Studies .  

Mr ‘Esau, holds a MBA, BA in Accounting & Economics and a Diploma in Information Technology/Computer Science from the University of the South Pacific.


Andrea Talia’uli – Strategic Development Manager

Andrea Talia’uli commenced work in November 2016 as Strategic Development Manager for Tonga Power Limited. She has a degree in Natural Resources Engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Prior to joining Tonga Power Limited, Andrea was the Asset Planning and Safety Manager for the Land Transport Division of the Ministry of Infrastructure and, most recently, the Environmental Specialist for the Asian Development Bank-funded Nukualofa Urban Development Sector Project, on secondment from the Government of Tonga.

Andrea brings extensive Government, sector development, project management and donor collaboration knowledge and experience to her role. She and her team will work with other parts of the company to explore and drive new business opportunities, support and manage a growing aid-funded project portfolio and coordinate the implementation of Tonga Power Limited’s Business Plan.