Below is a brief description of this vacancy

This page outlines the vacancy and the key skills and responsibilities for the role.



Independent Directors - 2 positions available

Palmerston North, New Zealand

Reference: 5321366

Central Economic Development Agency

Purpose and context:

Manawatū is an exciting, innovative region with massive opportunities. It's strength is in primary production, logistics, education, and agricultural research. The region is also home to the New Zealand Defence Forces main Army and Airforce operational bases as well as the Defence College headquarters, FoodHQ, New Zealand's international centre for food research. Many key distribution operators are based in Palmerston North City, one of the nation's main logistics centres due to its central location, flat land and excellent transport infrastructure. This opens the way for investment opportunities in logistics, agribusiness, food and the contact centre industry.

Economic development is key to the region's success. Manawatū District and Palmerston North City Councils recognise that economic development is a collaborative partnership between the public and private sectors. Both councils have a clear strategic direction for economic development in the region.

To this end, in 2015, the Councils established a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO): Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA). It is a separate legal entity (limited company), jointly owned by the Councils and has separate management and governance structures.

The purpose of CEDA is to drive and facilitate the creation and growth of economic wealth for Manawatū and beyond. CEDA will deliver economic development outcomes that align to its purpose. CEDA focuses on the delivery of its core functions and outcomes in: inward investment, retention and expansion of Manawatū region business, developing a talent pipeline and international education.

Key to the success of CEDA is a commercially strong and experienced board (comprising a Chair and five independent directors). The appointment process will be undertaken by an Electoral College consisting of the Mayor and two Councillors from each of the two Councils.

The role of the Board is to lead the development of the CEDAs purpose, goals and strategy, set the tone and culture of the organisation, work with the CEO, and ensure strategic and compliance risk is effectively managed. The Board is responsible for preparing the annual Statement of Intent to be approved by each Council.

This is an exciting opportunity for individuals passionate about economic development and innovation, and are stimulated by the challenges of leading a CCO in regional New Zealand.

Person specification:

  • The backgrounds we are seeking in the new board include:
  • Proven track record in business economic development
  • Having industry experience across any of the regions priority sectors
  • Major event, tourism, visitor or destination marketing experience
  • Experience conducting business internationally
  • Strong financial knowledge
  • Communication and marketing skills
  • The ability to interface between the private sector, public sector and local governance

Personal traits of all our successful board members will include:

  • Impeccable ethics and integrity
  • Strong communicators
  • Natural leaders with the ability to take people with them
  • Clear and creative thinkers

All roles are open to individuals living throughout New Zealand although we expect the board will have strong representation from directors living in the Manawatū region.

Candidates must be available to attend an interview in Palmerston North during the week commencing 15 February 2021.

Time commitment and term:

Board meetings will be held monthly in Palmerston North. The expected time commitment is around two days a month for directors and three and a half to four days a month for the Chair.

The roles will formally start on 1 April 2021 for fixed terms of three years.

The annual fee for board members is $25,000. Directors and Officers insurance is in place for all directors.

For further information on the role please contact Brent Limmer, General Manager Community & Strategy, Manawatū District Council, via brent.limmer@mdc.govt.nz or on +64 027 555 8036.


Applications Close: 04 Feb 2021