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Meet the team at the ATA

General News | 07/03/2009

The team working for the Auckland Transition Agency has begun its work on the important task of making the transition to the new Auckland Council.

The members of the board - Executive Chairman Mark Ford, Miriam Dean QC, John Waller, John Law and Wayne Walden - were announced by Local Government Minister Rodney Hide in May. The Board is now supported by a small team of people working either under contract or seconded from councils or council organisations to work full- or part-time as required.

Three new appointments to the team were announced today by Executive Chairman Mark Ford. They are:

  • Rob Fisher, the former chairman of leading law firm Simpson Grierson. He is one of New Zealand’s most experienced practitioners in the fields of resource management and infrastructure law.
  • Andy Coupe, senior advisor for investment banking at UBS New Zealand, and a member of the Takeovers Panel. He has extensive transaction experience in banking and capital markets.
  • Colin Dale, the former chief executive of the Manukau City Council. He is a well-respected community advocate in the region.

All three will work as and when required on projects required during the transition.

Mr Ford said: “I am delighted with the breadth and depth of experience in the team that is working for the ATA. There is a huge amount to be done according to a very tight timeframe and I am confident that we are building the team required to make it work.”

Mr Fisher said: “After 40 wonderful years at Simpson Grierson, including the last ten as chairman, I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to work on the transition project and help make a great city even greater.”

Mr Coupe said: “Establishing the financial structures of the new Auckland Council is an exciting and challenging task and I look forward to working with this team over the next 16 months.”

Mr Dale said: “It is critical to ensure that the people and community-focussed services enjoy a smooth transition to the umbrella of the new city. It is a privilege to work on such an enormous project dedicated to the wellbeing of communities and the prosperity of the region.”

Rob Fisher, Andy Coupe and Colin Dale join a team that includes Rodney District Council chief executive Rodger Kerr-Newell, former Treasury official and Ministerial advisor Chris Mackenzie, and Heather Harris, previously executive officer at the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance. Other team members now working for the ATA (either full- or part-time) include: Craig Shearer, Clive Nelson, David Blow, David Hawkins, Jacques Victor and Kerry Connolly.

The ATA was established by the Government to amalgamate Auckland’s city, district and regional councils into the new Auckland Council by October 2010. To achieve this process, tasks are being divided into work streams to ensure the timeline is met.

While the list of work streams has not yet been finalised, it is likely to include some or all of the following: governance, human resources, customer and community services, finance and treasury, business systems, communications, legal, regulatory and environmental services, planning and policy, council-controlled organisations, trusts and investments, property, infrastructure, and economic development (including events).

The ATA is also required to consider certain spending decisions submitted by councils and council organisations during the transition phase.