Meeting Kaipara's new CEO
An attraction to new lands and fresh experiences has brought a sports-loving, adventure-seeking, New Zealand enthusiast to take on the top job at Kaipara District Council.
Starting his new role on September 4, Peter Tynan is the region's new interim-Chief Executive Officer, filling in while council search for a full-time CEO after former chief, Graham Sibery abruptly resigned on August 25.
An avid mountain-bike cyclist, Peter says he was inspired to apply for the position following a recent tour traversing the North Island's back roads and trails.
After stepping down from being CEO with Southern Cross Healthcare in March, Peter hit the road, venturing out on a cycle trip from Auckland to Wellington with his friend Clive "who’s probably forgiven me by now".
“What struck me was how fabulous New Zealand is. When you’re working in cities you don’t often get out to the regions on a regular basis and on this trip I went to places I’ve never been to before,” he says. “I haven’t spent a lot of time in Kaipara and when I was talking to Greg the Mayor about the position, one of the things I got quite excited about was that I’ll have the opportunity to really get to know another part of this country I love.”
Although only a week into his job, the new CEO’s immediate focus will be working with the council on Kaipara’s Long term Plan, a critical project Peter says, as it will give a clear direction for the region over the next 10 years.
“I also think there is a lot we can do internally to make our service levels better,” he says. “There’s a lot of people on the council who are keen on improvements so we’ll be looking at how we can deliver a greater experience to our range of ratepayers and customers.”
Splitting his time between Dargaville and Mangawhai council offices, Peter will also be travelling to Whangarei to work with the roading infrastructure team. He says this is important as roading is the council's number one expenditure, "I’m sure I’ll be learning a lot more about roads."
Although too early to say if he would like to stay in his new role long term, Peter says while living here, he plans on immersing himself in all the district has to offer. “The great attraction about Kaipara is the amount of things to do and see,” he says. “The Kai Iwi lakes, bike trails, nature walks… Mangawhai has one of the best golf courses in the country, might even join a soccer team… and I plan on cycling from Cape Reinga to Auckland, Clive might even want to join me…”
Besides cycling around the country, Peter’s other sporting passion is hockey which he has played for 45 years. He was part of the team that participated at the World Master Games held earlier this year. He laughs saying it was one of those times where "the mind was willing but the body was not able. We had rolling subs, we played for 10 minutes then we were off for 10, but it felt like we’d played a whole game,” he says. “We did get to the finals, although there were only three participating teams… and lost in the shoot-out. I’m sure one of the teams was disguised as an Australian drinking team… it was a lot of fun.”
Peter has previously played for NZ, as did his brother, while his father has captained for NZ and his daughter is currently on a hockey scholarship in the States. He also has served as a coach for a women’s premier league. “It’s a big part of what I do, it’s in the blood.”
Although admitting he has not spent a lot of time in local government, Peter says that a possible upside of this is that he brings a fresh perspective on "what is possible or what we can do differently".
“Personally I think Kaipara is fantastic, it's an unbelievable region and I bet everybody who comes here says the same thing about its natural beauty and resources, and incredible people,” he says. “As a local governmental organisation, I think there is a lot of good work we can do… there's nothing but opportunity up here.”
KAIPARA CEO: Peter Tynan is ready for his new role and all Kaipara has to offer