Below is a brief description of this vacancy

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

Independent Chair (x1) and Independent Director (x1)

Feilding, New Zealand

Reference: 5650904

Central Economic Development Agency

Purpose and context

Manawatū is an exciting, innovative region with massive opportunities. Its 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, both 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 with 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 - 2 roles (Chair x 1 and Director x 1)

The Chair role is pivotal and we would expect this individual to be an experienced Director with deep governance experience, commercial acumen, be reputable, and well respected.

The backgrounds we are seeking in board members 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
  • Marketing skills
  • The ability to interface between the private sector, public sector, and local governance

Personal traits of all 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 either in Palmerston North or via video link (depending on COVID-19 Alert Levels) during the week commencing 18 October.

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 18 December 2021 for fixed terms of three years.

The annual fee for the Chair is $50,000 and for Board members is $25,000. Directors and Officers insurance is in place for all Directors.

To apply

For further information on the role please contact Michael Hawker, Acting General Manager Community & Strategy, Manawatū District Council, via or on +64 021 0472798.

To express interest in the role please visit

The closing date for applications is 5.00pm on Thursday 7th October 2021.

Applications Close: 07 Oct 2021

How to Apply

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  1. Find the position you are interested in

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  1. Answer the questionnaire

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  1. Upload your CV

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What happens next?

We will send you an email confirming we have received your application.  Once the recruitment closes, our interview panel will then review all the applications.  If you are successful in being short-listed for an interview then a member of our friendly People and Culture team will contact you with your interview details including if there is any practical exercise involved with your interview.  If your application is not successful in getting an interview then you will receive an email from us advising you of this.

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