Te Waka chiefs ap­pointed

Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

Te Waka, Waikato’s re­gional eco­nomic devel­op­ment agency, has an­nounced the ap­point­ment of a new chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and chief oper­at­ing of­fi­cer.

Michael Bas­sett-Foss is Te Waka’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and Har­vey Brookes is its chief oper­at­ing of­fi­cer.

The an­nounce­ment comes al­most a week af­ter the agency held its first eco­nomic devel­op­ment sum­mit and an­nounced its of­fi­cial name, Te Waka: Anga whaka­mua Waikato — Waikato mov­ing for­ward.

Michael grew up in Hamil­ton and has spent the past 17 years in Napier with his wife and three teenage chil­dren.

He was most re­cently project di­rec­tor of the mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar Wa­ter Wairarapa project, is the for­mer chair­man of Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tions of New Zealand (EDANZ) and was man­ager of eco­nomic devel­op­ment at Hawke’s Bay Re­gional Coun­cil where he led the devel­op­ment of Hawke’s Bay’s Re­gional Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Strat­egy.

Te Waka es­tab­lish­ment board chair­man Dal­las Fisher says Michael’s knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence at the gov­er­nance, com­mu­nity and ma­jor project lead­er­ship level made him the nat­u­ral choice for the CEO role.

“It’s the com­bi­na­tion of these skills which Te Waka will need to trans­late its am­bi­tion into re­al­ity and to lead the Waikato re­gion for­ward,” he says.

“We are ex­cited to have a leader of Michael’s cal­i­bre to head the new or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

Har­vey was born in Pu­taruru and raised in Mor­rinsville, and now splits his time be­tween Cam­bridge and Auck­land, where he runs an eco­nomic devel­op­ment con­sul­tancy.

He has had an ex­ten­sive ca­reer in eco­nomic devel­op­ment and pub­lic pol­icy at both re­gional and na­tional lev­els, in­clud­ing as man­ager of eco­nomic devel­op­ment at Auck­land Coun­cil.

He has over­seen the es­tab­lish­ment of Te Waka and since 2015 has been the pro­gramme man­ager for its fore­run­ner, Waikato Means Busi­ness.

Dal­las says Har­vey’s ex­pe­ri­ence and con­tacts in the Waikato re­gion, along with his de­tailed knowl­edge of how Te Waka will work, made him the front run­ner for chief oper­at­ing of­fi­cer.

“We are de­lighted Har­vey has ac­cepted the role and I know he will be part of a for­mi­da­ble team along­side Michael and the board.”

Dal­las also ac­knowl­edged the work of Te Waka’s in­terim CEO, Stu­art Gor­don, who will con­tinue to run Waikato In­no­va­tion Park and the Food In­no­va­tion (Waikato) spray drier.

“Stu­art has en­sured a very seam­less es­tab­lish­ment process and a tran­si­tion to the new or­gan­i­sa­tion,” says Dal­las.

“We’re very grate­ful for the lead­er­ship and sup­port he and the Park have pro­vided and look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to work in part­ner­ship with him and his team mov­ing for­ward.”

Photo / Sup­plied

Te Waka CEO Michael Bas­sett-Foss (left) and COO Har­vey Brookes.

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