Kaihautū o Puni Arowai (KOPA),
Our Leadership Team


Our senior leadership team Kaihautū o Puni Arowai known as ‘KOPA’, is committed to the purpose and vision of Taumata Arowai. Working collaboratively across Taumata Arowai to set and guide our strategic direction as the water services regulator for Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Mā mua ka kite a muri, mā muri ka ora a mua. 

Those who lead give sight to those who follow, those who follow give life to those that lead. 

Kaihautū o Puni Arowai (KOPA) 

  • Kaihautū refers to the head of a department or agency. 
  • Puni refers to a department or group of people. 
  • Arowai speaks to the focus of the kaupapa of Taumata Arowai on the wai as a taonga, and our focus to put wai mauri, wai mana, and wai ora at the centre of everything we do. 
  • KOPA is the space in front of a house and the floor space in the left corner on entering a wharenui. Normally this is the place where the local people of the marae sit and sleep. his refers to our Leadership team being at the front, connecting with our people, the people we serve and those we work with to deliver our kaupapa. 

Allan Prangnell | Chief Executive 

Head shot of Allan Prangnell Chief Executive

Nō Kotirana, nō Aerani ōku tūpuna
Ki Aotearoa nei, nō te Tai Poutini, nō Tūranga tōku whānau
Ko Ōtautahi te whenua tupu
Kei Pōneke ahau e noho ana
Ko Allan Prangnell tōku ingoa
Ko au te Tumuaki o Taumata Arowai
Huri noa i te whare, tēnā koutou katoa

Allan has a wealth of leadership experience across central and local government. He was recently the Deputy Chief Executive of Te Manatū Waka (Ministry of Transport) providing leadership and advice on transport system performance. 

Prior to Te Manatū Waka, Allan was Executive Director Three Waters at the Department of Internal Affairs. Allan led and delivered the establishment of Taumata Arowai as a crown entity with an entirely new regulatory system. This included engaging with iwi nationwide on understanding and giving effect to iwi/hapū/Māori interests in water services and regulation. 

Allan has significant experience in regulation, organisational design, transformation, governance and leadership, strategic leadership, and managing stakeholder relationships within complex organisations.

Sara McFall | Head of Systems, Strategy, and Performance

Head shot of  Helen Robertson, Acting Head of Strategy and Insights

Nō Ingarangi ahau
Ko Rānana tōku tūrangawaewae
Kei te Whanganui-a-Tara au e noho ana
Ko Head of Systems, Strategy & Performance tōku mahi
Ko Sara McFall tōku ingoa

Sara has a long history of working in the health system both in New Zealand and the UKShe has joined Taumata Arowai from Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand, where she built and led a number of teams as part the reorganisation of the health sector entities. She has experience in strategic leadership, engagement, and delivery. Sara has previously led policy and corporate functions in government departments and Crown entities, including the Ministry of Health, ACC and MBIE. 

With a background in health, Sara is strongly motivated by the mission of Taumata Arowai to ensure all New Zealanders have access to safe water.


Steve Taylor | Head of Regulatory

Head shot of Melinda Sando, Head of Regulatory

Ko Remutaka te maunga
Ko to Awa Kairangi te awa
E noho ana au ki Warrington
Ko Steve Taylor toku ingoa

Steve has been responsible for various regulatory regimes in both central government and local government. Steve led applications through regulatory processes to deliver major infrastructure investments with state owned enterprises and the private sector. 

Steve is passionate about delivering positive outcomes through regulatory systems. Before joining Taumata Arowai, Steve was at the Department of Conservation for 5 years. There, he was the Director of Regulatory Services, responsible for establishing the office of regulatory services. Before then, Steve was the Group Manager Environmental Strategy and Approvals at Transpower. He also held the role of Director of Business Transformation and Insight at Upper Hutt City Council. 

Johanne Spring | Head of Corporate 

Head shot of Jo Spring, Head of Corporate

Ko Putauaki te maunga
Ko Tarawera te awa
Ko Engarangi ōku tupuna
I whānau au i Kawerau
Kei Whanganui a Tara tāku kāinga ināianei

Jo was recently Manager, Strategy and Operational Services, Archives New Zealand at the Department of Internal Affairs. She also served as a General Manager Corporate Services at the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), National Operations Manager for HealthPac, and a National Operations and branch manager at ACC. 

"I am delighted to be able to work for an organisation that is really going to make a difference to the people of Aotearoa by ensuring everyone has safe drinking water. It is a fundamental requirement to the wellbeing of our nation and to be part of the set-up is really exciting." 

Maria Nepia | Head of Te Rōpū Wai

Head shot of Maria Nepia , Te Ropū Wai