Leadership Change At Ōpōtiki District Council
Ōpōtiki Mayor, Lyn Riesterer, announced today that the Chief Executive, Aileen Lawrie, would be leaving the role in July to take up a new opportunity as Thames-Coromandel District Council Chief Executive.
“On a personal level, I am very pleased for Aileen and her new and exciting opportunity. However, I know we will miss her steady hand at the head of the organisation and want to thank her for the incredible work she has done for the community over the last 12 years,” Mayor Riesterer said.
Ms Lawrie joined Ōpōtiki District Council as the Chief Executive in 2010 and since then has overseen a huge transformation in the district.
Ms Lawrie was instrumental in securing external funding to build the new Harbour entrance which supports the burgeoning aquaculture industry. Council’s work on the harbour project, jointly with Whakatōhea, was the overall winner at last year’ LGNZ EXCELLENCE awards for improving the wellbeing in the district.
Several other key projects have helped prepare the district for economic and population growth including the multi-million-dollar sewer relining project, the building of Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi, the new skatepark, footpaths, gardens and playgrounds. She has worked closely with iwi partners around the rohe to support their own aspirations in industries and opportunities like spat, housing, development and job creation. She has also shared her expertise nationally, sitting on central government’s steering group for the coming resource management reforms.
“Aileen’s legacy will be felt for many years to come. Ōpōtiki has faced many challenges in recent decades but we have worked hard, particularly over the past ten years, to achieve our vision to bring Ōpōtiki back to prosperity. We are now entering a new phase of opportunity and growth. Council’s role and Aileen’s leadership have been central to this transformation.
“I speak on behalf of the council to express our thanks for her vision, perseverance and service to staff and the community over many years.
“Aileen leaves the organisation in a strong position for the future. Thames-Coromandel District Council is very lucky to have her and I am sure she will bring her excellent leadership skills and tireless advocacy for the community to her new role,” Mayor Riesterer said.
Former Mayor, John Forbes brought Aileen Lawrie into the role of Chief Executive back in 2010.
“Aileen has made a contribution to the long-term future and wellbeing of Ōpōtiki that cannot be overstated. Her shaping of a game-changing vision, coupled with her hard work and attention to detail has turned a dream into reality.
“The many benefits of the harbour entrance and sea farming will take time to be fully realised. Ōpōtiki will benefit from her ability and dedication for many years and I thank her for that.” John Forbes said.
Aileen Lawrie took the opportunity to thank the community, staff and Elected Members for their support.
“I am incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved as an organisation and how Ōpōtiki District Council has positioned itself for the future. Ōpōtiki has entered a new period of growth and opportunity and it is time to reap the benefits of all the strategies and plans over the years.
“Local government as a whole and Ōpōtiki particularly have many challenges on the horizon - changes in three waters, new legislation for climate change and resource management, even the shape of local government itself.
“But the Ōpōtiki community is fortunate to have highly skilled and committed staff at the council who work really hard to get the best outcomes for the district. We have achieved great things and I know there is more to come,” Ms Lawrie said.
Aileen Lawrie finishes with Council in July 2022. The Mayor and councillors will begin the process for recruiting and employing a new Chief Executive over the coming weeks.