Jo Miller

    President | Chief Executive, Hutt City Council

Jo Miller has been Chief Executive of Hutt City Council since July 2019. She is working with a new Mayor and Council, staff, iwi, partners and the community to ensure Lower Hutt is the very best it can be for all its people.

Jo previously held one of the most high-profile local government jobs in the UK, with an outstanding track record for motivating people, creating solutions and brokering agreements in major housing, economic regeneration and capital investment schemes.

As Chief Executive at Doncaster Council, Jo was recognised as having brought exceptional growth and optimism to a previously economically depressed town. The Local Government Chronicle said Doncaster had been “dragged up from the depths of despair to something to be proud of.”

Landmark projects with a total investment of £2 billion boosted economic performance, putting Doncaster in the UK’s top ten for growth. Jo was elected President of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives in 2016 - 2019 and led the leadership portfolio on behalf of the profession. In 2017 the Local Government Chronicle named her the third most influential person in local government.

Steve Ruru

    Vice President | Chief Executive, Taranaki Regional Council

Steve brings extensive experience across the local government and wider public sector to his role at the Taranaki Regional Council.

Steve joined the Taranaki Regional Council as Chief Executive in October 2019, and prior to that was the Chief Executive of Southland District Council for six years. Steve has also held Chief Executive roles with the Kaipara District Council (December 2011 – October 2014) and Thames-Coromandel District Council (December 1998 – December 2011).

Steve has also worked in a range of executive and governance roles across the health, tertiary education and broader public sector.

Of Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Ranginui descent, Steve was awarded a Bachelor of Management Studies from the University of Waikato, and is a Chartered Accountant Fellow (FCA) with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Monique Davidson

    Vice President | Chief Executive, Horowhenua District Council

Monique Davidson was the youngest local government chief executives in New Zealand, appointed at the age of 29. She is currently the Chief Executive at Horowhenua District Council. Born and bred in Levin, Monique completed a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts at Victoria University of Wellington. Monique served at Horowhenua District Council for seven years in several Senior Management roles before starting as Chief Executive at Central Hawke’s Bay District Council in June 2016.

Monique is a transformational leader, who identifies a vision, clearly communicates that and takes people with her to deliver. Monique is involved in a variety of groups. In 2010 Monique received a New Zealand Leadership Development Centre Scholarship, and in 2019 Taituarā awarded her the Skills Organisation Melbourne Business School leadership scholarship, Leading for Strategic Success. Monique is currently a member of the National Three Waters Reform Steering Committee.

Monique is passionate about local government, and takes time to create meaningful relationships putting wellbeing outcomes at the centre of her work across the organisation she leads, and the wider local government family.

Jason Marris

    Northern Branch Representative | Chief Executive, Kaipara District Council

Jason has 20 years’ experience in government roles, with a focus on governance management and leadership. He is passionate about democracy and ensuring that today’s governance professionals make a positive impact on decision-making.

He began his career in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, before spending some years at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington D.C., supporting our extensive military attaché network in the US. On his return from overseas he completed his Bachelor’s degree, before taking up a management role at North Shore City Council.

In 2007, he started at the Auckland City Council in Democracy Services before being successful for the Governance Support Manager role at the Auckland Council in 2010. Jason completed his Masters’ in Public Management through Victoria University in 2014 and joined the Whangarei District Council as the Governance Manager in 2015. Having been the General Manager Engagement and Transformation for several years, he is now the Chief Executive at the Kaipara District Council.

Tanya Winter

    Midlands Branch Representative | Chief Executive, Ōtorohanga District Council

Tanya has been in local government for over 20 years and is currently the Chief Executive of Ōtorohanga District Council. She has only been in the role for eight weeks, but is no stranger to a CE role. Tanya would be one of the few Chief Executives who has made the leap from second tier to a CE role in local government, not once, but twice.

This time two years ago Tanya presented to this very forum. At that time she had just been suspended as Chief Executive of Westland District Council. In what Tanya calls “the perfect storm” she found herself embroiled in a very public situation that would be a worst nightmare for many people less resilient. By the end of April 2017 Tanya was unemployed and thought her local government career was over. But her passion for the sector was unwavering, and in August 2017 she took on a very different second tier role at Otago Regional Council. In the 18 months that followed she applied for six CE roles. Not one to be discouraged, Tanya’s grit, determination and belief that she had unfinished business as a CE saw her landing the Chief Executive role at Ōtorohanga District Council.

Doug Tate

    Central Branch Representative | Chief Executive, Central Hawke's Bay District Council

Described as an authentic and visionary leader, Doug Tate is the Chief Executive of Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, previously being the Group Manager - Customer and Community Partnerships at Central Hawke’s Bay. Having also held senior positions at Manawatū and Horowhenua District Councils, Doug has nearly 20 years of demonstrated and proven experience across the broad spectrum of Council activities and services.

With a strength in leading leaders and shaping the future of community through strategic change, Doug is passionate about the role of local government and driven by the spirit of public service to achieve transformational outcomes for people and community. Doug has served and continues to serve on a range of regional and national forums and sector executives. Doug is a past National President of the Local Authority Property Association and an Accredited Resource Management Act Commissioner.

Having completed further training development at Mt Eliza Business School and holding post-graduate qualifications in Business and Human Resource Management, Doug is recognised for navigating through strategic change and building value-based cultures of excellence in local government.

Barbara McKerrow

    Wellington Area Representative | Chief Executive, Wellington City Council

Barbara is nationally recognised as a leader in local government management. She has an executive career in local government spanning more than 35 years, with experience in almost every facet of council work. Currently the Chief Executive of Wellington City Council, Barbara moved to Wellington in 2017 after serving nine years as the Chief Executive of New Plymouth District Council. There she was responsible for driving the projects that changed the reputation of New Plymouth, gaining national and international recognition for its arts, culture and lifestyle.

Barbara’s story is inspiring for her staff – from her very early career as a Librarian to Chief Executive of the capital city. She was the President of Taituarā — Local Government Professionals Aotearoa for three years and during that time co-chaired the Central and Local Government Chief Executive Forum and served as a member of the Office of Auditor – General Local Government Advisory Group.

She is currently a member of the Advisory Board for the Wellington School of Business and Government. In her spare time Barbara enjoys getting out into the trails and open spaces of Wellington, though not as quickly as she did in the 1980s when she was a champion marathon runner and represented both Australia and New Zealand.

Hamish Riach

    Top of the South Branch Representative | Chief Executive, Ashburton District Council

Hamish has 18 years’ experience in the local government sector, having held financial and chief executive roles across four district and city councils.

He began his local government career at Christchurch City Council, before spending time at Manawatū, Mac​kenzie and Selwyn District Councils, where he was Chief Executive for two years. Hamish has also held several chief executive positions in the private sector, amassing 24 years of experience.

He holds a Bachelor of Business Studies from Massey University and is a member of Taituarā — Local Government Professionals Aotearoa.

Louise van der Voort

    45 South Branch Representative | Executive Manager - Planning and Environment, Central Otago District Council

Louise has had a long career in local government. Her professional background is in resource management planning, and she currently holds the position of Executive Manager-Planning and Environment at Central Otago District Council. Louise is committed to working for the community and has led master planning and spatial planning to deliver on community aspirations. She is a Civil Defence controller for the Council.

Outside of work Louise enjoys hiking and biking in the stunning landscapes of Central Otago.