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New Whanganui & Partners Chief Executive Appointed

Jonathan Sykes is the new Chief Executive to lead Economic Development Agency Whanganui & Partners.

Pahia Turia, Whanganui & Partners Board Chair, said the appointment of Sykes as Chief Executive ensured the agency would continue to make a positive impact on Whanganui’s business community and economy.

Sykes said he was thrilled to have the board’s confidence and support in taking the organisation forwards.

“I have a huge passion for ensuring Whanganui’s economy thrives,” Sykes said. “The work of Whanganui & Partners must bring clearly identifiable benefits to our community and I am thoroughly committed to being a part of this mahi.”

Sykes has filled the role of Acting Chief Executive during two six-month periods when former Chief Executive Hannah Middleton was on parental leave. Middleton’s second period of leave was due to end on September 1 but she has chosen to step down from the role in order to focus on her young family.

Turia said Sykes’ appointment meant the agency was able to maintain continuity and confidence and he had been pleased to see this recognised at the recent Council Controlled Organisation committee meeting where the agency’s success had been highlighted.

“We have been extremely fortunate to have a competent and proven leader in the wings,” Turia said. “When a CE steps down it can often cause uncertainty and although we are sad to farewell Hannah, we are proud to be able to follow up with such a positive outcome for Whanganui & Partners.”

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Sykes said he was fortunate to lead an outstanding team. “They are all experts in their own right and we work in an environment where we collaborate and wholeheartedly support each other at every opportunity.

“I have personally benefitted from that support, from my colleagues and our Board, and I have the excellent advantage of knowing how much potential Whanganui has, how far we’ve come, and how much we can achieve together.”

Turia said Sykes’ appointment came with fortuitous timing as he prepares to step down as Whanganui & Partners Chair at the Board’s upcoming mid-September meeting.

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