Port boss to lead changes in water services
The Hastings District Council has appointed Napier Port chief executive Garth Cowie to chair a change programme for its water services operations.
The change programme was put in place following an independent review of the council’s water operations commissioned by chief executive Ross McLeod.
McLeod ordered the review to address shortcomings identified through the government inquiry into last year’s Havelock North water contamination crisis which left more than 5000 residents sick.
The change programme aims to ensure the council has in place the capability, capacity, systems and people to ensure safe drinking water for its community.
McLeod said the council was pleased Cowie was willing and able to take on the chair’s role.
‘‘He has led Napier Port through a period of significant success and has developed strong capability and culture throughout the organisation.
‘‘He is also a Havelock North resident with a strong interest in making sure the organisational foundations are in place for safe drinking water,’’ he said.
McLeod said the council was committed to changes identified in the review and was confident Cowie could deliver them.
Cowie said he welcomed the opportunity to be involved.
‘‘Safe drinking water is fundamental to our communities and our health. I’m pleased to be able to help the council develop its water services activity so it is ‘fit for purpose’ in the new operating environment that is emerging post the contamination event.’’
Cowie will lead the team developing and overseeing change initiatives and make recommendations to McLeod.
Garth Cowie says safe drinking water is fundamental to communities.