You’ll often find Fiona McTavish climbing Mauao or visiting Pāpāmoa Hills Regional Park as the sun comes up, getting a fresh perspective ahead of a busy day. As Chief Executive at Bay of Plenty Regional Council Fiona is a vital connector, sitting on numerous regional and national economic and environmental boards while leading a team of 500 across the region.
Fiona brings a wealth of expertise to her role with a background in health and education and extensive experience working with central government. A natural leader and a champion for professional development, Fiona recently launched an organisation wide leadership programme and fostered a women in leadership series.
“There is so much we do as a Regional Council from protecting the environment to helping create vibrant and resilient communities. I love my job, getting to help both the community and the environment. There’s a lot happening in our beautiful region, and my role at Regional Council is to deliver value for ratepayers while helping to shape and preserve our region for generations to come.”
The work Regional Council does is funded by a mix of rates, fees, charges, grants and investment income.
“It is gratifying to lead an organisation looking to ensure value for money in all we do for our communities which is one of the reasons why we’ve recently made changes to how our rates are invoiced and paid. For the first time since the Regional Council was formed in 1989, we are collecting our own rates. Until now, we’ve contracted this out to the region’s city and district councils to do this on our behalf. This change is forecast to generate six million dollars in savings that can be used for other community services”.
In addition to her role of Chief Executive Fiona is a Director at Quayside Holdings Limited, the investment arm of the Regional Council which has a majority share in the Port of Tauranga. Quayside’s objective is to manage their investment assets for a commercial return, providing sustainable growth and income to the wider community.
“What a lot of ratepayers might not know is that through Regional Council’s investment in Quayside Holdings Limited, the average rates bill in 2021/22 was reduced by around $350 per property, that’s a significant saving for all Bay of Plenty Ratepayers.”
The Regional Council looks after the environmental management of the Bay of Plenty, including protection of the region’s land, air and water. They also respond to pollution events and take a lead role in animal and plant pest management. They have an active role in minimising risks from natural hazards, they look after navigational safety on the water along our coast, lakes and rivers, and they provide public transport.