Development agency chairman appointed

Ian Collier, Air New Zealand's former regional affairs manager, has been appointed to head the...
Ian Collier, Air New Zealand's former regional affairs manager, has been appointed to head the board of the Southland Regional Development Agency from the beginning of April. Photo: Supplied
Ian Collier, Air New Zealand's former regional affairs manager, has been chosen to head the board of new Southland Regional Development Agency.

The new board, announced on Friday, will replace the joint committee and board that previously oversaw the work of Venture Southland.

The agency will incorporate the Venture Southland and take over its functions.

Apart from Mr Collier, the other five members appointed to the board are Dean Addie, Sarah Brown, Lucy Griffiths, Jocelyn O'Donnel and Maria Pera.

Mr Collier said the first task at hand would be "the transition from the old entity into the new entity" as soon as possible.

He said the the key objective was still the Southland Regional Development Strategy's aim of increasing Southland's population by another 10,000 people.

Southland District Council Mayor Gary Tong, who chairs the Joint Shareholders Committee that selected the new board welcomed Mr Collier's appointment.

"While he is not a Southlander, he has had strong ties with the region over a long period of time. In particular, through his position in Air New Zealand, he supported local tourism development such as the Bluff Oyster Festival and more latterly helped deliver the direct air link to Auckland."

The Joint Shareholders Committee comprises the four councils - Invercargill City Council, Southland District Council, Gore District Council and Environment Southland - as well as five community organisations.

These are the Southland Chamber of Commerce, Invercargill Licensing Trust, the Southern Institute of Technology, Community Trust South and the Mataura Licensing Trust.

The board officially takes up its role at the start of next month, starting the process of transitioning Venture Southland into the Southland Regional Development Agency and appointing a new chief executive.

The resignation of Venture Southland chief executive Paul Casson was announced last month.

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