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CERA General Manager Wins Top Chartered Accountant Award

For immediate release
5 December 2011

CERA General Manager Wins Top Chartered Accountant Award

Steve Wakefield, General Manager of Economic Recovery for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) has been named as the country’s top Chartered Accountant in the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) annual Leadership Awards.

Mr Wakefield, has worked with CERA since mid-2011, was last night awarded the Crombie Lockwood 2012 Chartered Accountant of the Year along with other key winners including Ernst & Young 2012 Public Sector CFO of the Year Paul Chambers, CFO of Meridian, and Westpac 2012 Outstanding New Member Award Skye Daniels, Group Financial Controller of Auckland University.

“Steve has demonstrated outstanding leadership throughout his extensive career, most recently in the extremely demanding post-earthquake Canterbury environment,” says NZICA Chief Executive Terry McLaughlin.

“He is an exemplar of best-practice in Accounting which this award recognises. He’s led the development of CERA’s Economic Recovery Programme, has provided leadership and direction for numerous multi-million dollar client projects, is frequently on steering committees and project boards or governance teams and is passionately committed to community work,”

Mr Wakefield, who took a leave of absence from his role as Managing Partner of Deloitte Christchurch to work with CERA, brings to the role more than 30 years’ experience as a partner with Deloitte in the United States, Britain and New Zealand as well as considerable governance experience and local community involvement.

He is a founding member of the Deloitte National Innovation Council. He was also a founding member of the joint NZICA and NZ Law Society group which led the efforts of professionals in Christchurch to support members and member firms through the initial recovery and response period.

“I’ve had a broad and varied career as a CA in public practice which has brought value to my role leading the economic recovery for CERA,” says Mr Wakefield.

“These include a pragmatic commercial background, understanding of business priorities and in-depth knowledge of the local economy along with strong relationships with business leaders and key organisations,” he says.

“It’s great to see the hard work of the past year at CERA starting to become evident in the data we are seeing both locally and nationally. The rebuild is well underway and the next five to ten years will see Christchurch grow and prosper in an exciting direction.”

Ernst & Young 2012 Public Sector CFO of the Year, Paul Chambers, CFO of New Zealand’s largest State Owned Enterprise Meridian says his background as a Chartered Accountant has been fundamental in ensuring Meridian is acting as commercially as any private sector company.

“Being an accountant has always provided the backbone to my professional approach. As a CFO I draw on this background not only to properly manage a complex financial environment, but also in my approach to wider business issues.”

Westpac 2012 Outstanding New Member of the Year Skye Daniels, Group Financial Controller, the University of Auckland, was recognised for her exemplary leadership, not only as head of a team of 15 at the university, but within the community.
“Chartered Accountants play an important role in the community," says Skye who volunteers for the I Have a Dream Charitable Trust.

“New Zealand is an entrepreneurial country and behind every successful business is usually a Chartered Accountant providing guidance and advice. Many are also giving back to the community by volunteering their services and expertise to local charities and community groups, a great service to the community.”

The full list of NZICA Leadership Awards 2012 winners are:

Crombie Lockwood 2012 Chartered Accountant of the Year Award
• Steve Wakefield FCA, General Manager, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA)
Westpac 2012 Outstanding New Member of the Year Award
• Skye Daniels CA, Group Financial Controller University of Auckland
Ernst & Young 2012 Public Sector CFO of the Year Award
• Paul Chambers CA, Chief Financial Officer, Meridian Energy

American Express 2012 Outstanding Service to the Profession Award
• Professor Tony van Zijl
Refining NZ 2012 Annual Report Awards
Best Annual Report by a Corporate Organisation
• Telecom
Best Annual Report by a Public Sector Organisation
• New Zealand Superannuation Fund
Best Annual Report by a Not-for-Profit Organisation
• World Vision New Zealand
Best Sustainability Reporting
• Rotorua District Council


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