New direction for Council with appointment of Chief Executive

by Tauranga City Council , 17 May 2018

Tauranga City Councillors have voted to appoint Marty Grenfell as Council’s new Chief Executive, replacing incumbent Garry Poole from September 2018. The appointment follows a seven-month recruitment process.

Mr Grenfell is currently the Chief Executive of Whakatāne District Council, a role he has held since late 2011. Previously, Mr Grenfell was a senior manager at Upper Hutt City Council and Hutt City Council, and had 20 years’ experience with NZ Police.

Mayor Greg Brownless says the appointment reflects a new direction for Council.

“We had a number of high-quality applicants for the role, which is not surprising given how appealing Tauranga is as a place to live.

“Tauranga City Council is facing some challenging questions as we balance growth with the delivery of our core services. Our Long-Term Plan is ambitious but if accepted would mean higher rates, and we need to consider that.

“Elected Members believe that Marty will have a strong focus on delivering the best possible services and facilities in a cost-effective manner, and we will ask that he looks at our priorities for the city and what we can manage.”

Mayor Brownless has also thanked Mr Poole for his service over the past five years.

“Garry has managed Council through a period of rapid growth, which has seen Tauranga become the fifth largest city in New Zealand. He has proven to be capable and competent, and will leave opportunities for the new Chief Executive to continue to progress. We wish Garry well in his next endeavour.”

Mr Poole’s five-year contract ended in April. However, Elected Members have asked that he remains in his role for the next three months to ensure a smooth transition. 

In October last year, Councillors chose to advertise the Chief Executive role to ensure Council had long-term leadership.

Mr Poole says he is proud of what has been achieved over the past five years.

“While I’m disappointed to not have been reappointed, I am very proud of what we have been able to do. We have faced some challenging times, as you do when you’re growing. However, I believe Council is now focused on the right things, is more effective, and that Tauranga is on the way to becoming an internationally competitive city.

“For me, some of the standout highlights from the last five years include the new university, which is changing the downtown skyline as we speak; improved relationships with key partners, particularly tangata whenua; and collaborative projects that are changing the face of Tauranga, such as the Marine Precinct, Bay Oval lights, Paradox Street Art Festival, tidal steps, High Performance Sports Centre and the return of 60 Chapel Street to Ngai Tamarawaho.

“Tauranga City Council is full of great people, who are focused on delivering for our community, and I hope that the city continues to push ahead with some of the exciting initiatives we have planned.”

Mr Poole was appointed in April 2013, after previously holding the position of Chief Executive at Wellington City Council for 15 years.

He says he will take his time to consider his options once his role ends in August.