Latest News & Public Notices

Welcome to our Council’s new Chief Executive, Aileen Lawrie

09 August 2022

Our Council’s new Chief Executive, Aileen Lawrie, was formally welcomed to the district in a pōwhiri on Monday.

Mayor Sandra, CE Aileen Lawrie, Ōpōtiki District Mayor Lyn Riesterer

(Left to right: Our Mayor Sandra Goudie, our new Chief Executive Aileen Lawrie and Ōpōtiki District Mayor Lyn Riesterer)

Ms Lawrie comes to the Coromandel after 12 years as Chief Executive of Ōpōtiki District Council where she drove forward large-scale projects in aquaculture, housing and cycleway developments – work that aligns well with initiatives our Council has underway in those sectors.

A delegation of Ōpōtiki-area iwi, elected members and council staff accompanied Ms Lawrie and formally handed her over to a delegation of iwi, elected members and staff from our Council.

“Chief executives are here to serve,” Ms Lawrie says. “Serving our elected members, government and iwi. The long-term vision I’ve found so important has come from iwi meeting rooms. Much of what local government does is mandated by government. We have many challenges ahead of us: Three Waters Reform, local government reform, changes to solid waste. I’m looking forward to the challenges,” she says.

Our Council’s Mayor Sandra acknowledged the guests at the pōwhiri, including representatives from Ōpōtiki area Ngāi Tai (Linda Steele), Te Whānau-a-Apanui (Matetu Herewini and Ōpōtiki Councillor Louis Rāpihana), Whakatōhea (Graeme Riesterer) and Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board (Robert Edwards). Other members of the Ōpōtiki delegation included Ōpōtiki Mayor Lyn Riesterer, Councillor Debi Hocart, council staff, Ms Lawrie’s partner Rob and close family friends.

“We welcome Aileen with enthusiasm and recognise the many excellent projects in Ōpōtiki that she has seen through,” says Mayor Sandra. “We see the similarities between our two districts and the opportunities and synergies for us to work together. Mayor Lyn, thank you for forging those ties. We open our hearts and invite you all into our house.”

Mayor Sandra also acknowledged the contribution of Coromandel-area iwi representatives at the pōwhiri, including Wāti Ngamane (Ngāti Maru), Joe Davis (Ngāti Hei), and Pare Hauraki representative Korohere Ngāpō. All three oversaw the whaikōrero at the pōwhiri for our district.

Ōpōtiki Mayor Lyn Riesterer reflected that it was a bittersweet day for her, handing over someone of Ms Lawrie’s calibre to another council. She said Ms Lawrie was bringing to Thames-Coromandel District her deep knowledge of local government, leadership skills and relationship building.

“The work of a council can only be done at the chief executive level if that person can forge strong bonds with the community,” Mayor Riesterer says. “With Aileen you have somebody who has forged strong relationships with Ōpōtiki, the region and agencies. She proved to government ministers that a small, rural council can deliver complex projects. TCDC – lucky, lucky you.”