|Not a member? Sign up now!|
MANAWATU District Council’s new Chief Executive is Lorraine Vincent, currently the local authority’s Community and Environment Group Manager.
Ms Vincent, 48, succeeds Rod Titcombe who is retiring at the end of June after heading the council since its formation in 1989. She begins her new duties on July 1.
Manawatu District Mayor, Ian McKelvie, announced the appointment to staff today and described it as a successful outcome to a long public process that involved a strong list of candidates.
Manawatu born and raised, Ms Vincent entered local government in 1996 as the council’s Community Services Group Manager, becoming responsible for the management of the Makino Aquatic Centre, Feilding Public Library and community libraries, Civil Defence, Housing for the Elderly, recreation and leisure services.
She added the strategic planning portfolio in 2006 and then took on the environmental responsibilities of health, district planning and building two years ago.
Before joining council, Ms Vincent worked as a journalist at the Manawatu Standard, becoming the newspaper’s Sports Editor from 1985 to 1990, and then entered the freelance market as a communications advisor.
Ms Vincent was Sport Manawatu’s Chief Executive from 1991 to 1996 before entering local government. She is currently a board member on Sport Manawatu and Netball Manawatu and is a former Central Districts and Manawatu cricket captain and New Zealand under 25 representative.
She felt honoured and privileged when offered the position and appreciated the faith council had put in her.
“I have massive shoes to fill and Rod has been a good teacher. He’s been wonderful to work with and taught me so much – and that’s a fantastic platform for me to move on from.”
Ms Vincent said the chief executive could not do the job by themselves and she was looking forward to working with Mr McKelvie and the councillors who were open minded and strategic thinkers.
She also praised the “fantastic” staff at the council and members of the management team whose special input could not be underestimated.
“A key for the council in the future is to be forever scanning the environment and looking for opportunities. We have to be pretty nimble and look at the situations as they present themselves and see if we want to be part of them.”
She also felt that unity with neighbouring councils was vitally important, not just in outcomes but in relationships.
“There is strength in working together,” she said.
Mr McKelvie said it was exciting for council that one of its own had “got to the bend of the road and come out on top”.
He was confident that Ms Vincent had a set of skills that would take council to where it wanted to go and was excited at the opportunities she now gave council.
“The challenges facing Manawatu are peculiar to us and with those in mind we set out to find someone who is capable of guiding us through them,” he said.