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New MDC boss announced

New Masterton District Council chief executive Kath Ross. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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Masterton District Council’s new chief executive is 45-year-old Kath Ross, currently general manger strategic planning and policy for Far North District Council in Kaikohe.

Ms Ross has worked in local government for more than two decades, the past 10 years in Northland.

She spent six years as general manager for planning and policy for Northland Regional Council before taking up her current role four years ago.

She is scheduled to take up what will be her first position as chief executive in early August, on a total salary package of $240,000, down from the outgoing CE Pim Borren’s salary of $252,000.

Ms Ross will move to Wairarapa with her partner, Justin Harding, a technical draughtsman, and their children Isabell, 12, and Michael, 10.

“The growth of Masterton over recent years has been impressive and there are a number of interesting projects on the horizon that I’m looking forward to getting involved,” she said.

Ms Ross said she was passionate about building relationships between the council, the community, business and iwi and hapu groups, as well as central government – “my focus is on working with the community rather than for the community”.

She is looking forward to bringing the family to a rural provincial centre, small enough for the children to feel comfortable finding their feet at “great schools”, but with the capital “just down the road”.

After spending time in Wellington at Victoria University, Ms Ross has already spent time in Wairarapa but is looking forward to spending time further exploring the region.

Ms Ross was one of several shortlisted candidates interviewed by the full council and Masterton mayor Lyn Patterson said she impressed with her skills and experience.

“Kath has experience in strategic planning and policy, and knows the importance of engaging with local iwi and hapu – these attributes make her a great fit for the role.”


  1. Another example where salaries for civil servants no longer resemble a fair match between skills and responsibilities. No surprises though from a council that is happy to increase this year’s rates by more than double the rate of inflation.

  2. Congratulations MDC for appointing a woman. I’m also confident she is the best qualified too.

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