Kaihautū o Puni Arowai (KOPA),
Our Leadership team

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

Our Leadership team is known as Kaihautū o Puni Arowai (KOPA) where:

  • 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 also 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. This 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.
Head shot of Allan Prangnell Chief Executive

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) where he provided leadership and advice on the performance of the transport system.

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 regime. Key to this work was the engagement with iwi across the motu 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.

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

Sara McFall Head of Systems, Strategy, and Performance

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 UK.  She 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 heath 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 Taumata Arowai’s mission to ensure all New Zealanders have access to safe water.


Head shot of Melinda Sando, Head of Regulatory

Steve Taylor 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, and 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. Prior to joining Taumata Arowai Steve was at the Department of Conservation for 5 years where he was the Director of Regulatory

Services responsible for establishing the office of regulatory services. Prior to that Steve was the Group Manager Environmental Strategy and Approvals at Transpower, and has also held the role of Director of Business Transformation and Insight at Upper Hutt City Council.

Head shot of Jo Spring, Head of Corporate

Johanne 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

Johanne (Jo) Spring looks after the finance, people and culture, legal, and information technology areas for Taumata Arowai.

Jo was recently Manager, Strategy and Operational Services, Archives New Zealand at the Department of Internal Affairs. She has also served as a General Manager Corporate Services at the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), was 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."