Growing Hamilton

Council leader to take on new role

Hamilton City Council’s City Growth General Manager Jen Baird is to leave Council at the end of May to take up a new role as Chief Executive of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

Council chief executive Richard Briggs said Ms Baird has been a valuable member of Council’s senior leadership team since 2018 and has delivered a culture of performance across all facets of the city’s growth programmes.

“Jen has a passion for people and place-making, implementing strategies which have enabled our city to support growth while retaining the qualities and environments that make Hamilton special,” Mr Briggs said.

“We have a high-performance culture at Council which fosters leadership and excellence at every level of our business. We encourage our people to strive for new opportunities and new ways to test themselves. Jen has outstanding leadership and commercial experience and I have no doubt she will be a great asset to REINZ,” Mr Briggs said.

Ms Baird said Hamilton is primed to make the most of its opportunities and she is proud of the work done by the City Growth team.

“This is an amazing city and one which is already one of New Zealand’s premier growth success stories for liveability, business development and environmental sustainability.

“Our new Peacocke neighbourhood is showing how you can enhance the environment while delivering housing, our central city has a resurgence underpinned by some outstanding new buildings, and enduring partnerships are supporting new development in Ruakura and Rotokauri.

“We are seeing national organisations looking at Hamilton as their base of operations and an increasingly-diverse and growing population which is making our city more international, vibrant and flourishing.”

Ms Baird is a former Hamilton student and First-Class honours graduate of University of Waikato majoring in marketing, international management and Chinese. She joined Council in 2017 as Communications and Marketing Unit Manager, after almost 10 years with Barfoot & Thompson in Auckland as Chief Marketing Officer. She was appointed as City Growth General Manager in 2018.

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