The Whakatāne District Mayor Tony Bonne has announced that Stephanie O’Sullivan has been appointed Chief Executive of the Whakatāne District Council.

Ms O’Sullivan will take up her new role on 19 November.“Stephanie knows our area very well. She has worked here in the past, has family connections in Whakatāne and brings a unique governance and senior management skillset to the organisation,” he says. Ms O’Sullivan says she is thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to achieving the Council’s vision. “Whakatāne’s climate, relaxed lifestyle, natural assets and strong cultural heritage and history provide a wonderful context to work within.

“My background has given me valuable insight into the challenges, opportunities and partnership potential between local and central Government, iwi, the private sector and the community. I’m fortunate to have experienced leadership roles in pre- and post-settlement iwi entities, and to have championed environmentally sustainable community and economic development, both as a public servant and a non-government organisation leader. That gives me the ability to place myself in others’ shoes and I believe that will be tremendously helpful as the Council works to meet its challenges over the next 5-10 years.”

She describes herself as a “tangata tiriti New Zealander” – a person of non-Māori origin, whose forbears came here to enjoy the opportunities Aotearoa presents – and says she has been privileged to be immersed in the world of tangata whenua for more than 20 years.