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Environment Canterbury appoints experienced chief executive

Wednesday, 16 March 2011 9:30 a.m.

Environment Canterbury has announced today that its new chief executive will be Bill Bayfield, who is currently chief executive of Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Announcing the appointment, Environment Canterbury Chair of Commissioners Dame Margaret Bazley, said Mr Bayfield would bring strong leadership to the role, and was an experienced chief executive with significant regional and public sector experience.

"He has a proven ability to build strong relationships and networks across his regional council community, and with central government. He also has a track record of working collaboratively with iwi and environmental groups," she said.

"Mr Bayfield is recognised as a strong and respected leader in the regional government and public sector, and it gives me great pleasure to be able to announce his appointment."

Mr Bayfield has been chief executive of Bay of Plenty Regional Council for five years where he leads a staff of about 300 people.  Before joining the regional council he was a General Manager with the Ministry for the Environment in Wellington. Before this he undertook management roles for some 20 years with the Taranaki Regional Council, and the catchment board which preceded the council's establishment.

In moving to Environment Canterbury, Mr Bayfield said he would be joining an organisation at the cutting edge of regional government in New Zealand. "The challenges facing Environment Canterbury in terms of water quality, water quantity, and now the earthquake, present a huge challenges and opportunity for the region."

"Having worked in regional government for some 25 years, I know there is a real role for that tier of government in many diverse arenas, including water management, transport planning, and biodiversity."

He acknowledged that he would be joining the organisation at a time of significant change. "Leading and empowering staff through this process will be a key focus for me."

In announcing Mr Bayfield's decision, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chairman John Cronin said he was saddened by the news and recognised the significant achievements that had been accomplished under Mr Bayfield's leadership.

"Bill has been an excellent chief executive and we will be sad to see him go, but I also recognise the great challenge that the new position at Environment Canterbury Regional Council presents for him," Chairman Cronin said.

"This move also presents an exciting opportunity for us as one of the fastest growing centres in New Zealand and we expect that it will also present a significant opportunity for a new chief executive.

"We have a lot of great work to continue to ensure our region's ongoing sustainable growth and this will be a real challenge for a new chief executive of our organisation."

Chairman Cronin said that the recruitment process would start immediately and he looked forward to receiving many high calibre applicants for this role.

Mr Bayfield will start at Environment Canterbury in June.

Ends

For more information contact from Environment Canterbury please call Communications and Marketing Manager Katherine Trought on 027 5313261.

For further comment from Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chairman John Cronin or Chief Executive Bill Bayfield, please call Community Relations Manager Bronwyn Campbell on 021 287 9380 or Senior Communications Advisor Prue Sisam on 021 929 349.

Note to editors: A photo is available on request.

John Cronin Bill Bayfield 2011 lowres