Rotorua Economic Development’s newly appointed board chair John McRae is already in the thick of it as the district works towards post-COVID-19 recovery.
Mr McRae was appointed by Council to replace Peter Stubbs following the end of his term as chair of the council-controlled organisation’s board.
“With COVID-19 happening as he was appointed John is already very much in the hot seat,” council chief executive Geoff Williams says. “We’re very happy to now have him around the table, providing vital direction and contribution to the economic recovery response Council and Rotorua Economic Development are facilitating.
“John is very invested locally and is a keen champion of local business.
“He comes with a wide range of public and private sector experience and importantly, brings extensive local knowledge and networks and that will be absolutely invaluable as we work with our various business sectors to build a local recovery.”
Mr McRae, whose appointment to RED is for three years, is a chartered accountant, a partner at local accounting and financial services consultancy Deloitte, and comes with 15 years’ experience as a chief executive and director.
He currently works primarily in the areas of governance and management and recently resigned from his role of more than four years as chair of the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce to take up his RED role. He still holds a number of other positions including chair of the Rotorua Community Youth Centre Trust, is a director on the commercial arm of Tauhara North No 2 Trust and is an advisor to a number of other local trusts and businesses.
Mr McRae says he is passionate about Rotorua and the wellbeing of its people and the local economy.
“That’s really important, especially in the face of such a challenging time with so much flux and uncertainty. I think RED can really have a positive impact and my focus will be for us to work closely with all parts of our community to ensure we are unified in creating a Rotorua Inc we can all be proud of.
“I’m looking forward to working alongside my fellow board members to make a difference.”
In congratulating Mr McRae on his appointment, Mr Williams also acknowledged the contribution of Mr Stubbs during the past three years, saying he has been instrumental in leading RED through the merging of Destination Rotorua and Grow Rotorua.
“His strong strategic focus has provided the platform for RED’s current and future success in growing economic development for Rotorua,” the CE said.
Council has also approved three board member appointments to RED for a three-year term: Mana Newton, Aaron Donelley and Tim Cossar (effective 1 July). They will join current Board members Dr Ganesh Nana and Christopher Auld, and will replace outgoing board members Andy Higgs and James Fitzgerald.