By any standards, Tauranga City Council is a significant enterprise. It holds some $6.5 billion of assets on behalf of the community and with total annual revenue approaching $500 million, the council dwarfs most businesses in the region.
Managing that business requires highly-specialised skills and Chief Executive Marty Grenfell has assembled an executive team with the capabilities and experience needed to consistently deliver quality outcomes for the fast-growing city, and the wider sub-region.
“The local government sector is arguably as important in most people’s lives as central Government, which is why it’s critically important that we have the right leadership, both in governance and council operations,” Marty says. “After all, we not only provide vital water and wastewater services, but maintain the city’s roading network, build and maintain community facilities used by thousands of people every day, develop and implement strategies to cater for our growing city’s needs and look after a raft of regulatory functions which contribute to a safer and healthier community.”
Marty says Tauranga Moana is fortunate to have the services of four Commissioners who understand the governance role, have the right mix of professional experience and acumen and are committed to laying the foundations for the city of the future. “The long-term plans they are putting in place have wide community backing and will provide a solid base for our next elected council to work from following the July 2024 election.”
Marty’s leadership team consists of seven General Managers covering the finance, infrastructure, strategy & growth, community services, corporate services, regulatory and city development portfolios.
Chief Financial Officer Paul Davidson has held senior management positions in New Zealand and Australia over the last 30-plus years. Apart from overseeing the Council’s financial activities, he works closely with other growth councils and central Government on alternative ways to fund the infrastructure which maintains our lifestyle and addresses housing supply and affordability issues.
General Manager: Strategy, Growth and Governance Christine Jones has worked in senior local government management roles since 2001 and has lead responsibility for the integrated planning of our city’s future and growth (including funding, land use and infrastructure). She has been involved in the SmartGrowth project over many years.
Originally from Sweden, General Manager: Infrastructure Nic Johansson worked on civil engineering projects across four continents before moving to New Zealand and taking-on a range of senior management roles more than 20 years ago. His Infrastructure group looks after the city’s water supply and networks, sustainability and waste, transportation and infrastructure delivery.
General Manager: City Development and Partnerships Gareth Wallis has worked in local government leadership roles for more than 20 years and is a Director of Bay Venues Limited and the AIMS Games. His strong focus on community relationships is a natural fit for his new responsibilities in delivering one of the largest city centre and community amenity transformational projects NZ has seen.
Barbara Dempsey, General Manager: Community Services, is also a vastly-experienced local government senior manager whose role covers libraries, customer services, contact centre, community development, the Historic Village, Baycourt, venues and events, arts and culture, spaces and places, property and civil defence emergency management portfolios.
Corporate Services General Manager Alastair McNeil has an international background in insurance and professional services and brings a customer-centric focus to his role, with an emphasis on agility and openness. His portfolios include community relations, human resources, digital services and legal, risk & procurement activities.
Sarah Omundsen joined the Council last year in the General Manager: Regulatory and Compliance role. Her background includes senior management positions with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, which gave her in-depth knowledge of Tauranga’s environment. She is responsible for the Council’s building services, environmental planning and environmental regulation activities.
Together, these committed executives bring a resolute determination to delivering the Council’s Long-term Plan commitments and ensuring Tauranga remains a great place to live, work, learn and play.