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Laila Harré joins the ATA

General News | 07/07/2009

Former Cabinet Minister and trade unionist Laila Harré has joined the Auckland Transition Agency, the agency’s Executive Chairman Mark Ford announced today.

The Auckland Transition Agency was established by the Government to amalgamate the councils across the Auckland Region into the new Auckland Council by October 2010.

Ms Harré was an Alliance MP from 1996 to 2002 who served as Minister of Women’s Affairs, Minister of Youth Affairs, Minister of Statistics and Associate Minister of Labour and Commerce. She went on to work for the New Zealand Nurses Organisation and is currently the National Secretary of National Distribution Union.

Mr Ford said Ms Harré will be engaged on project work involving human resources and change management during the transition from Auckland’s current local government arrangement to the new Auckland Council.

“Laila is highly respected for her knowledge, experience and judgement in a highly specialised field which is critical to the work of the transition agency,” Mr Ford said. “I am delighted that she has decided to join our team.”

Ms Harré said: “I see this as an opportunity to make the Auckland Council an excellent workplace. How staff find the change process will be at the heart of that. I expect to start by doing a lot of listening."

Appointments (either full- or part-time) previously announced by the ATA include Rob Fisher, the former chairman of leading law firm, Simpson Grierson; Andy Coupe, senior advisor for investment banking at UBS New Zealand and a member of the Takeovers Panel; and Colin Dale, the former chief executive of the Manukau City Council and a well-respected regional community advocate. All will work on projects as and when required.

Other team members (either seconded from councils or council organisations or working under contract) include: Rodney District Council chief executive Rodger Kerr-Newell; former Treasury official and Ministerial advisor Chris Mackenzie; Heather Harris, previously executive officer at the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance; Craig Shearer, Clive Nelson, David Blow, David Hawkins, Jacques Victor and Kerry Connolly.

The members of the transition agency’s board are Mark Ford (Executive Chairman), Miriam Dean QC, John Waller, John Law and Wayne Walden.