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New CE for Napier City Council announced

Published: 17 December 2020

Marine Parade Early Morning Dec 2019 15

Today, Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise announced the appointment of Dr Stephanie (Steph) Rotarangi as the new Chief Executive of Napier City Council.

“I am absolutely thrilled that Steph is joining us here at Napier City Council.  Myself and all the councillors were totally blown away by not only her clearly demonstrated capabilities but also her obvious leadership qualities. Throughout the recruitment process it was apparent Steph is an incredibly talented senior manager and I am looking forward to working alongside her on behalf of our community”, said Mayor Wise.

Dr Rotarangi has been heading up the State of Victoria Covid-19 response over the past few months of their recent resurgence. In her role as Deputy Commissioner, Emergency Management Victoria, Steph has coordinated the efforts across multiple Victorian and Federal government operations in their efforts to contain the Covid-19 outbreak. Previous achievements also include leading the 2019/20 Victorian bushfire response, State-wide reform of fire services, which encompassed some 50,000 staff and volunteers across Victoria.

“What isn’t immediately apparent to us here, is that Victoria’s efforts are similar to the entirety of New Zealand in terms of both size, scale and complexity”, says Mayor Wise. “That Steph was wanted at the forefront of these effort speaks volumes about her leadership talents. The results speak for themselves.”

During a remarkable career, Dr Rotarangi also led a number of international interventions, including acting as liaison for the last Australian and New Zealand deployments to wildfires across the United States. Prior to this, Dr Rotarangi had stints in senior leadership roles across a number of fire services, including having been Chief Executive of the Otago Rural Fire Authority.

As a proud kiwi, Dr Rotarangi says that she can’t wait to return to Napier and join the Council team.  “For me this is a bit of a ‘return home’ moment. My husband, Ants and I lived for a while in Napier as young graduates and we have treasured memories of the city and the surrounds.  I’m sure our three children Kieran, Nina and Tai will enjoy seeing where Mum and Dad spent some time before they were born.”

Mayor Wise said that a lack of direct local government experience was no barrier for Dr Rotarangi. “Her PhD shows that she has the diligence and capability to learn.  But, most crucially, with Steph it was her undoubted and obvious leadership abilities as an effective senior leader in some very complex environments over an extended period of time that sold us on having Steph as our new Chief Executive.”

“It’s my privilege to lead the Council at this time and I can’t wait to join the team and bring myself up to speed on the challenges and opportunities facing the community,” said Dr Rotarangi.

Mayor Wise thanked Keith Marshall, the interim Chief Executive for his work. “Keith has done a great job for us and we can’t thank him enough for all he has done”.  Mr Marshall will work through until Dr Rotarangi starts in the role, and then provide any ongoing hand-over support as needed.

Dr Rotarangi will commence at Council on 9 February subject to her completing the necessary managed isolation period.

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