This year's Emerging Leader of the Year is Lauren Baddock who is District Plan Lead at Horowhenua District Council. Lauren was presented with the award by Taituarā President Sanchia Jacobs during the 2023 Taituarā Gala Dinner in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington.

The Taituarā Emerging Leader of the Year Award is presented to an up-and-coming leader with a proven track record of designing and delivering innovative and successful programmes, projects, processes or practices with an identifiable community impact.

Lauren is the District Plan Lead for Horowhenua District Council and has demonstrated the ability to navigate the challenge between a growing urban sector and infrastructure within a rural and provincial setting.

Lauren has progressed through a number of roles in her time at Horowhenua and in each role she has led by example with a focus on community outcomes at the heart of her work.

As this year's Emerging Leader of the Year recipient, Lauren will have the opportunity to travel to Austin, Texas to attend the 2023 ICMA Conference later in the year.