The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Executive Team has a diverse range of national and international experience in local and central government, environment organisations and the private sector. You can find more information about the team below.
Born and raised in Hawke’s Bay, James has been Chief Executive since June 2017, having previously served as the Council’s Group Manager Strategic Development. Prior to working at the Council, James was Deputy Secretary Sector Strategy at the Ministry for the Environment and Director Strategy at both the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry before that. Between 2005 and 2008 James served as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity, and was an advisor in the Labour-led government between 1999 and 2003.
The Office of the Chief Executive and Chair includes a team of advisors across governance, human resources, communications and organisation performance providing high-level support and advice to the Chief Executive, Chair and the Executive Team ensuring the smooth operation and coordination across the organisation and effective tracking and reporting of the Regional Council’s progress. Before joining the Regional Council, Joanne was Private Secretary to the Associate Minister of Housing and Urban Development and was previously the Advisor to the Regional Commissioner at the Ministry of Social Development in Napier. During her time at the Ministry of Social Development she was the Manager Business Change and Implementation for a national IT transformation project and the Change Manager for the security response programme at Work and Income following the Ashburton shootings. Previously she was seconded to lead the community welfare response at the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority. Before moving to New Zealand, Jo had 18 years as a diplomat in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which included overseas postings to New Zealand, Falkland Islands, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Regulation Group looks after Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s consenting and compliance responsibilities. These responsibilities are given under the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Building Act 2004. We manage over 4000 active consents dealing with water takes and discharges, discharges to land or air and activities in the coastal marine area or in the beds of rivers and lakes. The group takes care of the Regional Council’s navigational safety functions. We also respond to reported incidents of pollution through our Pollution Hotline. Liz has been with the Regional Council since 1998, joining initially as a policy manager. She was Interim Chief Executive for three years and has previously overseen the External Relations Team.
The Corporate Services Group is responsible for the financial side of the Council including rates. It also includes the information technology team at the Regional Council along with Marketing & Communications and Corporate Support. Jess grew up in Hawkes Bay and after graduating university started work as an accountant at Palairet Pearson in Napier and then at Tremain’s Real Estate before spending the last 15 years working in finance and accountancy roles overseas. For the last seven years she has been based in Sydney, most recently as Finance Director, Asia Pacific at the publically-listed UK marketing and communications company Text100.
The Integrated Catchment Management Group is the largest Group in the Regional Council and includes environmental science, environmental information, catchment management, biodiversity and biosecurity. Integrated Catchment Management is a process, which recognises that everything that happens within a catchment is linked. The aim is to integrate the Regional Council’s activities and those of others working within the catchment to achieve overall outcomes. Iain joined the Regional Council in 2011. Iain has been working in the management of freshwater resources for over 25 years. He has worked with Nelson’s Cawthron Institute as a Senior Freshwater Ecologist, a Regional Manager with Fish and Game New Zealand and the Department of Conservation.
The Strategic Planning Group includes all our policy and planning staff, the Project Management Office, Economic Development functions, and the Transport team, which covers the regional land transport plan, public transport and regional road safety. Prior to his appointment as Group Manager, Tom was the Regional Council’s economic development manager. Until 2004 he was involved in a sheep, beef and horticulture business in New Zealand and Australia. Tom has practiced law locally in Hawke’s Bay and worked in Wellington as a commercial development manager for the Maori Trustee. Tom received a Nuffield Scholarship in 2016.
The Asset Management Group is responsible for looking after a diverse portfolio of river and coastal engineering, flood scheme operations and maintenance and the regional park network. Prior to joining the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Chris was Manager Asset Strategy at Napier City Council where he was responsible for transforming the way assets are managed in Napier. He oversaw a wide range of council assets, including stormwater, wastewater and drinking water, along with the inner harbour, parks and reserves and the development of Parklands Estate. Chris has more than 20 years’ experience in strategic and operational engineering management roles in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.
The Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group is a shared service of local authorities, emergency services and other organisations tasked with ensuring the effective delivery of civil defence emergency management in Hawke’s Bay. For more details visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz Ian was appointed as the Group Manager/Controller for CDEM in Hawke’s Bay in 2011. He currently is a New Zealand Army reserve officer and is a qualified regional planner. Before taking on the CDEM Manager’s role, he was an Environmental Manager at Hastings District Council and worked as strategic projects manager on significant projects across the community development, planning and asset management.
This senior executive role provides organisation-wide leadership, guidance and representation and will help staff and councillors engage more effectively with Tāngata Whenua. Mr Munro was National Advisor Māori for WorkSafe New Zealand, where he supported the establishment and recruitment of Māori Safety Champions and was involved in the development of a marae-based forestry health and safety intervention pilot scheme. He has held senior advisory roles in the Ministry of Fisheries, New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals through MBIE (Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment and the NZ Police College. He had an extensive 35-year career with the New Zealand Police rising to the rank of Wellington District Commander. In 2004, Mr Munro was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for his contribution to cultural development of New Zealand Police. He is the current Chair of Medic Alert New Zealand Incorporated and Deputy Chair of Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa (PSGE).
Diane has been with the Regional Council since 2001 and is Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive, Chairman and GM Office of the Chief Executive and Chair. Before joining Council Diane worked for three years in Australia as Registrar and Headmaster’s Secretary at Toowoomba Prep School and prior to that has worked as a Personal Assistant in Legal practices in Hawke’s Bay.
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