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New Wellington economic development agency moves forward

New Wellington economic development agency moves forward
February 22, 2015

The coming together of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA), the new regional economic development agency for the lower North Island, is moving forward following the appointment of its inaugural board.

Combining the economic development activities of Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council into one organisation’, WREDA brings together the functions and activities of Grow Wellington, Positively Wellington Tourism, Destination Wellington, Positively Wellington Venues and Major Events.

Explaining the move, WREDA Chair Peter Biggs stated “in October 2014 I was invited to chair this exciting Board and the other members were appointed in November.

“We aim to appoint a Chief Executive … and things will swing into action pretty quickly.

“Our region is packed with creators, thinkers, dreamers, doers and lovers of life. It’s the one place in the country – in the world – where everything is possible and WREDA will help make that happen.”

The eight people selected to the inaugural WREDA Board are, according to Biggs, a “stellar” lineup of New Zealand business, research and academic leaders.

Biggs, himself a well-known marketing and cultural entrepreneur, has returned to Wellington following eight years in Melbourne to take up the role of WREDA Chair.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair Fran Wilde and other regional leaders have welcomed the appointment of the directors.

Mayor Wade-Brown says the calibre and number of applicants through the advertised process were high, stating “this important agency will increase local jobs, income and the visibility of our Capital. We have world-class film, IT, education, arts, food, eco-tourism and much more in a diverse welcoming region.”

Councillor Wilde says the Wellington region has some serious challenges and some serious opportunities, adding “this board will play a significant role in making sure we can harvest the opportunities, building on the base established by the three organisations it will replace."

WREDA Directors are:

Dr Helen Anderson
Chair, Wellington Branch Committee, Institute of Directors, 2014 - present
Chair, (previously Deputy Chair) Building Research Association of New Zealand, from 2011
Chair, External Advisory Group, Department of Internal Affairs, July 2013 - present.
Director, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, July 2011 - present.
Chair, Risk and Assurance Committee, Land Information New Zealand, 2010 - present.
Independent Director, DairyNZ, May 2010 - present.
Chair, Fulbright New Zealand, December 2009 - present.

Matt Clarke
Director, Nelson Airport Limited.
Chief Commercial Officer, Wellington Airport, since 2010.

Sarah Gibbs
Trustee, Positively Wellington Tourism Trust. Chair of Audit and Finance Committee.
Non-Executive Director of Trilogy International and Chair of REM Committee.
Board Member, Export New Zealand.

Professor Grant Guilford
Director, Board of UniServices Limited, 2012-2014.
Chairman, AgResearch Science Advisory Panel, 2012-2014.
Director, Board of Genomics NZ Limited, 2009-2014.
Director, Board of Landcare Research Limited, 2009-2012.
Vice Chancellor, Victoria University of Wellington since 2014.

Richard Laverty
Director, Xenos
Director, Golden Ticket Limited
Member, Angel HQ Wellington
General Manager Strategy, Performance and Partners, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), 2011-present.

Paul Mersi
Chair, Grow Wellington.
Member, Audit & Risk and Chief Executive Performance Committees.
Independent non-executive Director, Brook Asset Management Limited (a Macquarie Group company). Member of Audit and Due Diligence Committees.
Self-employed Independent Consultant, Paul Mersi Consulting, since September 2010.
Member of NZ Government-appointed Savings Working Group.

Thomas Pippos
Director, Deloitte New Zealand Board.
Member, Deloitte Asia Pacific Leadership Council.
Professional and executive leadership background:
National Chief Executive, Deloitte, 2011 – present.

Lorraine Witten
Chair, Kordia Limited, since 2008.
Chairman, Starnow, since November 2012.
Director, Positively Wellington Venues, since December 2011.
Board member and Chairman, Programme Review Committee, NZTE, 2004-2011.

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