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New CEO appointed for West Coast Regional Council

The West Coast Regional Council announced the appointment of new Chief Executive Officer Vin Smith who will join Council on Monday 19 October.


Mr Smith is currently based in Invercargill with Environment Southland as Director/General Manager of Policy Planning and Regulatory Services, leading a team of 60 in regulatory (strategy, planning, consents and compliance), regional land transport and maritime activities.

He has periodically acted as acting Chief Executive for Environment Southland and an alternative Civil Defence Emergency Management Controller.


Allan Birchfield, West Coast Regional Council Chairman, said that Mr Smith brings a comprehensive understanding of local government with him.


“This experience is vital for the West Coast given the tidal wave of central government legislation and policy being released.”


Mr Smith has more than 25 years’ experience in the planning and regulatory sector, as Regional Planning Manager for Environment Canterbury, planning roles at Transit NZ, Selwyn District Council and Hawkes Bay Regional Council and has a wide network of relationships within central and local government.


More recently, he has been focused on working with communities addressing water quality and quantity issues in Canterbury and Southland, and as part of the Regional Sector Group, he has been advocating to central government on the Essential Freshwater Package.


Mr Smith is very excited to be leading the West Coast Regional Council through the significant

changes and challenges ahead, and to contribute positively to the future of the West Coast Region.


“Over many years I have been impressed with what the West Coast Regional Council has delivered, and I look forward to getting to know everyone as we tackle the many challenges that lie before us.”


Mr Smith will be joined on the West Coast with his wife and two teenage daughters.

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