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Interim chair named after Bay Venues shake-up

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Bay Venues Limited director Mary-Anne Macleod has been appointed as interim chair of the Tauranga City Council-owned company.

The appointment follows the resignation earlier this month of Michael Smith from both the board and the chairperson’s role, to allow the development of the revised strategy for Bay Venues to be led, finalised and implemented by the new board.

Mary-Anne will sit in the role until a new board of directors takes over the leadership of the organisation on July 1.

Director Keith Tempest has also resigned and has been replaced by council executive appointee Gareth Wallis, who has been appointed for a 14-month term. Both former directors’ roles were scheduled to end on June 30.

Bay Venues is a Council Controlled Organisation which operates a number of facilities and activities on the Council’s behalf. These range from commercially viable facilities, such as Mount Hot Pools and Trustpower Baypark, to Council-funded, community wellbeing-focused assets such as halls, community centres, indoor sport facilities and swimming pools.

The board changes follow last month’s decision by the council Commission to implement a range of changes to Bay Venues’ structure.

Desired changes include a restructuring of the organisation’s financing and funding model and providing additional rates-funding to cover the real cost of non-commercial activities; developing a clearer statement of intent and performance indicators focused on delivering better community outcomes; and a more integrated governance model led by a new board of directors.

Commission chair Anne Tolley has thanked the former directors for their service to the organisation and the community. She says the recent review had highlighted the Board’s successes in growing external revenue by up to 73 per cent, as a result of increased visitor numbers, increased services and the creation of new commercial revenue streams and business units.

“The strategic review, along with the retirement of a number of board members, provides us with an opportunity to appoint a board with complementary commercial and community service delivery skills and bring closer strategic alignment between Bay Venues and Council, helping us to achieve even greater community outcomes,” she says.

Mary-Anne has been a director of Bay Venues Limited for two years.

She was previously the chief executive of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council for seven years and is a member of the Institute of Directors and is a current member of the boards of NIWA, The Environmental Protection Authority and Dairy NZ.

Gareth Wallis is currently General Manager: Community Services at Tauranga City Council. His role covers libraries, community development, Baycourt Community and Arts Centre, spaces and places, events, emergency management and civil defence, and council-controlled organisation governance.

Gareth has worked in local government leadership roles for more than 20 years and also has a background in performing arts and event management.

The Council is seeking expressions of interest in the Bay Venues director roles, to take effect from July 1, from suitably qualified and experienced people who are committed to delivering great community and commercial services for the city.

Further information on the board roles can be found on the Council website.

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