About Us


The Aotearoa Wave and Tidal Energy Association was formed in 2006 by people passionate about the ocean, our moana. Currently AWATEA’s members include ocean enthusiasts, ocean energy (OE) developers, academics, researchers and consultants  and impact investors. In 2020 AWATEA became the first founding shareholder of Ara Ake, the NZ’s Future Energy Centre.


We are looking for new members to join. Please contact us here

AWATEA has representation on the International Energy Association (IEA) supported Ocean Energy Systems (OES) Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCP) OES Executive Committee.

Why does the ocean matter?

Globally the Blue Economy would be the seventh largest economy on the planet and is valued at around $1.5 trillion per year (about six times the GDP of NZ). It is set to double by 2030 to $3 trillion. The total value of ocean assets (natural capital) has been estimated at $24 trillion. Together with Australia, Aotearoa has the by far biggest Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on the planet, exceeding 2% of the Pacific Ocean. For Kiwis the ocean is second nature and a huge opportunity to innovate and leverage for the benefit of all New Zealanders. If done well, AWATEA estimates there will be thousands of Blue Jobs created in Aotearoa over the next ten years.

The iwi founded Hinemoana Halo Ocean Fund received USD 50mio at COP28 to address ocean related carbon sequestration and innovation. An Aotearoa Future Energy Sovereign Wealth Fund in the ilk of the Norwegian SWF has been recommended by AWATEA to the NZ government. The moana is critical to the overall health of the planet. It is the lung, the weather & climate engine, and the food source for billions of people (40% of the global population lives 100km or less from the ocean). 

What does AWATEA do?

AWATEA works with key stakeholders and the NZ government to promote Ocean Energy/ Ocean Innovation to establish a Blue Economy and create Blue Jobs for New Zealanders. The core technologies AWATEA members work on are tidal and wave energy. In 2006 EECA introduced the NZ Marine Development Fund. Eight OE projects were started. NZ currently consumes 42 GW of energy annually. It is estimated that NZ could annually generate 25 GW from wave energy and another 12 GW from tidal energy. Use cases include powering remote coastal communities, aquaculture and other ocean based food production, as well as desalination, turning ocean water into potable water for irrigation and drinking water. Hybrid solutions of OE, wind, solar are being explored by AWATEA and its members. 

AWATEA’s achievements in 2023 and plans for 2024

Research and Development

  • AzuraWave Power has completed provisional design and modelling work for a 50 kW and 100 kW WEC device with the capability to deliver 50 m3/100 m3 desalinated water.
  • Ruka Marine Turbine project will progress in 2024 to deploy a “proof of concept” surface floating turbine in the Wairau River, Dargaville and the Narrows of the Hokianga Harbour.
  • The Waves and Dynamics Group at the University of Auckland is currently developing and ocean testing short-term two marine energy devices, one harvesting wave energy, another tidal energy. Both devices target supplying electrical energy to aquafarms.
  • The University of Waikato is developing piezoelectric wave energy harvesters and tidal devices for integration into coastal protection structures.

Projects Planned for Deployment

  • AzuraWave Power is targeting Q1 2025 to deploy a 50 kW device in French Polynesia.
  • Mana Wairua Energy 1999 Ltd (formally Environment River Patrol-Aotearoa) is to deploy a proof of concept of Ruka Marine Turbine device in 2024.
  • Ecomerit Tech from Matakana has a 20 MW ocean gyre current project in the US and a 30 MW tidal current project In Wales, both in development. As part of the X-Prize they also work on a Carbon Capture Technology project using wind and wave energy. 
  • Devices by the Waves and Dynamics Group at the University of Auckland are to be deployed at aquafarming sites in 2024.
  • AWATEA is representing NZ on the International Energy Associations (IEA) Ocean Energy Systems (OES) Executive Committee and is assisting to host the 800+ delegates International OES conference https://icoe2024melbourne.com/ from 17 to 19 Sep 2024 in Melbourne. Together with Ara Ake ICOE offers delegates and interested parties a renewable/OE energy road trip to key renewable energy sites in Aotearoa as part of the conference programme. 
  • Watch AWATEA’s Vision for 2030 here … https://shorturl.at/ivzNO

Our Vision for 2030

Our vision is establish OE as a cornerstone for Aotearoa’s Blue Economy.  By focussing on small use cases and hybrid solutions in NZ and the Pacific Ocean we hope to leverage Kiwi Ingenuity and Ocean Innovation to make a positive impact.

Small Scale Use Cases

AWATEA is looking to support & facilitate the development of small scale applications for Island Nations. Here are initial concepts.

  • wave to water – desalination
  • marine power to remote coastal locations
  • wave energy for aqua farming
  • powering ocean based monitoring devices
  • undersea data center
  • Green Hydrogen for residential, industrial and transport use

Here you find an animation and narration of our Vision for 2030.

Our Executive Committee Team

  • Martin Knoche  – co-chairman of AWATEA; CEO of The Northland Innovation Centre/ N3T
  • Dr Vladislav Sorokin  – co-chairman of AWATEA; Senior Lecturer at University of Auckland
  • Armin Howard – Treasurer for AWATEA; COO for Azura Wave/ EHL (Taranaki)
  • Professor Craig Stevens – Executive Committee Member of AWATEA; Principal Scientist at NIWA, Professor at University of Auckland
  • Millan Ruka – Executive Committee Member & Iwi Advisor for AWATEA; Environmental River Patrol and Wairua River Power
  • Dr Danielle Bertram – Executive Committee Member of AWATEA; Outreach for AWATEA; Senior Lecturer at Waikato University
  • Professor Alona Ben-Tal – Executive Committee Member of AWATEA; CEO of Insightfull Modelling; Lecturer at University of Auckland
  • Brendon Green – Executive Committee Member of AWATEA; Advisor to Ecomerit Technologies (Matakana)