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Council appoints a new chief executive

Masterton District Council [MDC] has appointed a new chief executive.

Kym Fell will take up the role on September 25.

Currently chief customer and community officer at Wellington City Council [WCC], Fell is also deputy chief security officer and local controller for Civil Defence Emergency Management.

In the latter role, he led the WCC response to last year’s parliamentary protests.

At WCC, he manages a team of more than 1000 staff who look after parks, sports and recreation, housing, parking, connected communities, libraries and community spaces. and “the creative capital”.

Fell was previously chief executive of Whanganui District Council at a time when it won several award-winning projects. While there, he led two civil defence emergency declarations relating to weather events in the district.

Born in Masterton, Fell has now returned to Wairarapa. He is married and has two daughters.

Masterton mayor Gary Caffell said the appointment follows a rigorous recruitment process that attracted 50 applicants – many leaders in their fields.

“We had an absolutely outstanding response, and to finally appoint someone of Kym’s experience and expertise is huge, not only for councillors and staff but for the community in general. He has a record of making a difference and getting things done, and that’s what we wanted.”

Caffell said the council has a busy time ahead, with work about to start on the next long-term plan.

“There’s a lot of exciting stuff on the horizon, and I am confident our new chief executive will be up to every challenge that provides.”

Caffell also paid tribute to current chief executive David Hopman, who recently resigned after almost two years in the position and 15 years with MDC.

“David came into the CE role at a very challenging time, both internally and externally, and did a brilliant job in getting things back to where they needed to be. He will be a very hard act to follow,” Caffell said.

Hopman leaves MDC at the end of the week.

The role of interim chief executive is expected to be filled by the current MDC manager of strategy and governance, Karen Yates, after ratification at today’s council meeting. – NZLDR

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZOnAir

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