Hamilton City Council has appointed Lance Vervoort as its new Chief Executive.
Vervoort has been Council’s General Manager – Community for the past decade, leading more than half of the organisation’s staff.
He joined the Council in 2010. In September 2015, alongside his general manager’s role, he was appointed Deputy Chief Executive to Richard Briggs. Briggs announced in May he would leave the organisation this October.
Mayor Paula Southgate said the search for a new Chief Executive had been wide and thorough.
“The role of the Chief Executive is incredibly important at this time. Our whole sector is facing massive change and we will be looking to the Chief Executive to advise us well and ensure Hamilton is in the best possible place to influence that change,” she said.
“We had a number of exceptional people apply who were all genuinely excited at the opportunity to lead a city which is seen as very progressive and in very good heart. I sincerely congratulate Lance on securing the job. Council looks forward to working with him in his new role, backed by his very capable team. He is an outstanding person to work with – straightforward, honest and extremely hardworking and he will bring his own unique flavour to the role.”
Vervoort joined Hamilton City Council after two years as a private consultant. Prior to that he was a general manager at Auckland Regional Council in charge of 25 regional parks, 137 staff, visitor services, iwi relations and stakeholder relationships.
During his tenure, he increased the Auckland regional parks network by 25% and negotiated the gifting of a $10 million property from the landowners to Aucklanders. His responsibilities also included the Auckland Botanic Gardens, Mt Smart Stadium and the harbourmaster function.
In 2016, Vervoort was awarded the Recreation Aotearoa Ian Galloway Memorial Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the parks, gardens and open space sector.
Vervoort joined Hamilton City as Parks and Gardens Manager in 2010 and was promoted to General Manager – Community within six months. During his time at Council, he has overseen significant upgrades and developments of major facilities plus led the implementation of Council’s high-performance framework to drive staff productivity. He has negotiated major funding partnerships involving city playgrounds, the zoo and Hamilton Gardens and remains Chair of the Rototuna Indoor Recreation Centre Trust.
“I’ve had the privilege of driving some important initiatives for Hamilton but we’re now entering a time of real change for the city. There are massive growth opportunities as well as many challenges ahead. As a major New Zealand city we must be prepared for those,” Vervoort said.
“I’m looking forward to driving that change, but doing so in a way that takes the community along with us. I’m a realist. I know change can be challenging but it can also be very positive if you plan and manage it well.”
Vervoort will start his role on 18 October on a salary of $370,800 including Council’s Kiwisaver contribution and a vehicle. There are no bonuses, incentive payments or at-risk elements of the remuneration.