Tauranga Council appoints new CEO

Marty Grenfell will replace Garry Poole in September. Photo: Whakatane District Coucil.

Tauranga City Councillors have voted to appoint Marty Grenfell as Council’s new Chief Executive, replacing incumbent Garry Poole from September 2018.

The appointment follows a seven-month recruitment process. Mr Grenfell is currently the Chief Executive of Whakatāne District Council, a role he has held since late 2011.

Previously, Mr Grenfell was a senior manager at Upper Hutt City Council and Hutt City Council, and had 20 years’ experience with NZ Police.

Mayor Greg Brownless says the appointment reflects a new direction for Council.

“We had a number of high-quality applicants for the role, which is not surprising given how appealing Tauranga is as a place to live.

“Tauranga City Council is facing some challenging questions as we balance growth with the delivery of our core services. Our Long-Term Plan is ambitious but if accepted would mean higher rates, and we need to consider that.

“Elected Members believe that Marty will have a strong focus on delivering the best possible services and facilities in a cost-effective manner, and we will ask that he looks at our priorities for the city and what we can manage.”

Mayor Brownless has also thanked Mr Poole for his service over the past five years.

“Garry has managed Council through a period of rapid growth, which has seen Tauranga become the fifth largest city in New Zealand. He has proven to be capable and competent, and will leave opportunities for the new Chief Executive to continue to progress. We wish Garry well in his next endeavour.”

Mr Poole’s five-year contract ended in April. However, Elected Members have asked that he remains in his role for the next three months to ensure a smooth transition. 

In October last year, Councillors chose to advertise the Chief Executive role to ensure Council had long-term leadership.

Mr Poole says he is proud of what has been achieved over the past five years.

“While I’m disappointed to not have been reappointed, I am very proud of what we have been able to do. We have faced some challenging times, as you do when you’re growing.

"However, I believe Council is now focused on the right things, is more effective, and that Tauranga is on the way to becoming an internationally competitive city.

“For me, some of the standout highlights from the last five years include the new university, which is changing the downtown skyline as we speak; improved relationships with key partners, particularly tangata whenua; and collaborative projects that are changing the face of Tauranga, such as the Marine Precinct, Bay Oval lights, Paradox Street Art Festival, tidal steps, High Performance Sports Centre and the return of 60 Chapel Street to Ngai Tamarawaho.

“Tauranga City Council is full of great people, who are focused on delivering for our community, and I hope that the city continues to push ahead with some of the exciting initiatives we have planned.”

Mr Poole was appointed in April 2013, after previously holding the position of Chief Executive at Wellington City Council for 15 years.

He says he will take his time to consider his options once his role ends in August.


Possibility of Hope ?

Posted on 21-05-2018 08:15 | By Reality_Check

With Garry Poole now on the way out it will be possible to move forward but only if councillors actually understand what has been going on to cause the Bella Vista debacle and take control of the situation. Reflecting on the question from their annual survey about why the organization is so different from what they want from their OCI circumplex would be a good starting point. Asking why nothing has improved materially during Garry Pooles tenure would be an even better question to address in my opinion.If they keep being "fair weather councillors" little will probably change and the whole community will suffer as a result. I cannot understand why councillors have taken soooooo looooonng to start making things better at TCC.

Mayor Greg Brownless Statement

Posted on 21-05-2018 08:08 | By Reality_Check

According to Greg Brownless: ’Garry has managed Council through a period of rapid growth, which has seen Tauranga become the fifth largest city in New Zealand. He has proven to be capable and competent, and will leave opportunities for the new Chief Executive to continue to progress. We wish Garry well in his next endeavour.Wasnt Tauranga the 5th largest city before Garry Poole even turned up ?Also, if Garry Poole is "capable and competent" why is he not saying on. I think the Bella Vista debacle shows the truth behind the way some staff operate and he is the major kingpin, in my view, leading this poor integrity, poor transparency and poor accountability. I do not wish Garry Poole any success in other future local council endeavours, unlike Greg Brownless, as I believe he has shown his inability well at TCC.

Garry Poole Completely Deluded

Posted on 21-05-2018 08:01 | By Reality_Check

As I read this and the part about what Garry Poole was reflecting on after 5 YEARS AS CEO: "...Bay Oval lights, Paradox Street Art Festival, tidal steps, High Performance Sports Centre and the return of 60 Chapel Street to Ngai Tamarawaho". These things are all just background noise and the bigger picture stuff like roading and making sure treatment plants, stormwater projects etc are meeting the future needs are all wallowing in neglect - in my view.In my opinion if I was Garry Poole I would be mighty embarrassed that these are the only positive things he can think of. The Paradox Street Art festival was largely paid for by a city partner as best I can determine.In his 5 years his salary has cost the ratepayer $1,700,000. Internally I believe the place is a mess.


Posted on 19-05-2018 11:12 | By Told you

Just hope Marty isnt tainted by the rest of the disorganised Council and he can do his job without been misled like we have .

AND the big question is ...............

Posted on 17-05-2018 21:15 | By The Caveman

WHAT is the salary of this new chap ???

fallen on his on sword

Posted on 17-05-2018 19:51 | By Holden luva

about time hope you enjoy your last sandwich on the hard wordworking rate payers of tauranga

One down, one to go

Posted on 17-05-2018 19:11 | By backofthequeue

A new CEO is unquestionably a positive step for Tauranga. Now can we please have a new Transportation Manager also...

@ sobeit

Posted on 17-05-2018 15:27 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Yes, the likely result is a hand on the throttle changes but will the speed/direction? No one knows, by the time we all figure that out a few more steps towards teh abyss will have been taken ...

Rearranging Deck Chairs on Titanic

Posted on 17-05-2018 14:54 | By sobeit

There isn’t any guarantee ’new blood’ will be any better ! Look at the ’new blood’ in Central Government making a real mess. Change for changes sake usually ends up a worse mess. The more things change the more they stay the same has merit... Tauranga is trying too hard to be like Auckland and if you want Auckland go live there. The bureaucrats are running the show down at City Hall and the new CEO is,by definition ,a bureaucrat.Expect change maybe but it’s unlikely to benefit overtaxed ratepayers as he advances his own CV.


Posted on 17-05-2018 14:09 | By maildrop

"Internationally competitive city". What are you talking about? Council are paid by ratepayers to provide services to residents. That’s all there is to it. It’s not a multi national business. It’s not producing anything or exporting anything. That is just the sort of claptrap that got you the push. Clear off.


Posted on 17-05-2018 13:37 | By Captain Sensible

TCC plans to have $1 Billion debt soon and us mugs, many of whom work hard and long, will continue to be used as TCC’s very own ATM. Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got to keep some of the money we work for instead of having the TCC mafia take it from us?

Large piece of Cancer removed

Posted on 17-05-2018 12:16 | By Reality_Check

I dont think the average ratepayer understands the significance of this decision. In my view one of the largest pieces of "cancer" within TCC is now on the way out but it is a pity in my view that the new CEO is still 3 months away and getting rid of Poole has taken so long. I looked back on the Mayors (Greg Brownless) comment in the NZ Herald on 1 Feb 2018 and at the time of reading this my crap-o-meter went so far to the right it completly snapped the needle in half. Anyway Greg Brownless stated: Mayor Greg Brownless said at the time the decision did not reflect Poole’s performance and was about ensuring the council had long-term leadership.In my view this outcome is at odds with what Greg Brownless said and I believe he needs to develop a spine and truthfullness.


Posted on 17-05-2018 11:40 | By MISS ADVENTURE

That much is good, a change at the top, what is needed now is a clean out.

Great news.

Posted on 17-05-2018 11:18 | By Rolly

After years of bad management with poor planning we are in desperate need of new blood. Really hope you can get our council to pull its head out and start working for the city. Welcome.

Great news.

Posted on 17-05-2018 11:15 | By Rolly

After years of very poor


Posted on 17-05-2018 11:02 | By Really

Great news for Tauranga.

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