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Work and lifestyle attracts new CEO


David Wilson - Nth Inc CEO(copy2)The director of an Auckland university’s research institute and a specialist in economic development has been appointed as Northland Inc’s new Chief Executive Officer.

David Wilson, who since 2007 has been director of the Institute of Public Policy at AUT University, will take up his new Whangarei-based role leading the regional economic development agency and tourism organisation, in September.

Mr Wilson has led and been involved with numerous projects directly and indirectly related to economic development both nationally and internationally, says Northland Inc Chairman Colin Mitten, and will be a fantastic asset to both the Northland Inc team and the region as a whole.

"We're incredibly fortunate to have secured someone like David for this role. With his background and experience he could literally have taken his skillset to anywhere in the world, but has chosen Northland both for the work and lifestyle opportunities it affords him."

Mr Wilson says he's looking forward to making a hands-on contribution in Northland and already has some well-developed links to the region, as well as a family bach at Rangiputa in the Far North. He and his wife Anna, a family doctor, have two children.

"I think Northland is primed and ready to go in terms of future economic opportunities. It has wonderful existing natural resources, strong tourism, rural and manufacturing sectors as well as exciting development opportunities such as in aquaculture. But most importantly Northlanders – iwi, the private and public sectors – are talking and starting to work together. This is key in creating business and job opportunities for Northlanders; we don't have to be in the same waka, but we do have to be heading in the same direction."

As director of AUT's Institute of Public Policy, Mr Wilson designed and has been leading an academic programme dedicated to economic development professionals. He is currently completing a PhD in regional economic development.

Mr Wilson comes from a commercial background including experience in small, medium and corporate businesses in sales, marketing, product management and business unit management and also owned and operated his own Takapuna-based surf retail business for 15 years.

Mr Wilson says his first order of business at the council-controlled organisation will be to get to know key stakeholders and staff around the region to gain a greater understanding of the economic development opportunities that they see for the region.

In his private time, he's a keen basketballer – both coaching and playing – who also enjoys fishing and has surfed around the world.

He says he is looking forward to meeting and working with down to earth, passionate and resourceful Northlanders.

Northland Regional Council Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Nicolson will fill in as Northland Inc's acting CEO until Mr Wilson takes up his appointment.
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