Tony Dowling (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Tautahi) has been appointed chief executive of Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi o Ngāpuhi.

Acting chairperson Carol Dodd said the board had been through a robust recruitment search process lasting three months, which attracted strong interest from many senior Ngāpuhi executives, both in Aotearoa and overseas.

"Tony comes to us on November 2 from his role as director of innovation and development at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and prior roles with Honeywell and Siemens A&D as general manager and NZ regional manager," she said.

Apart from his many general leadership skills and experience, [Tony] provides the rūnanga with business management excellence.

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"We will benefit from his commercial world expertise, and more recently his te ao Māori experience at the wānanga."

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Mr Dowling would join the rūnanga at a defining moment, she said, with opportunities to be seized that could advance the iwi's people and rohe.

"That is why we are particularly pleased that apart from his many general leadership skills and experience, he provides the rūnanga with business management excellence gained across a very broad range of sectors, including overseas postings. We welcome him home to the Tai Tokerau, to his Ngāpuhi iwi and Ngāti Tautahi hapū."

Mr Dowling will succeed Allen Wihongi, who retired earlier this year. Te Wānanga o Aotearoa CEO Dr Jim Mather applauded his appointment to lead the rūnanga.

"Over the past three years Tony has created and developed our innovation development group, which has not only managed to bring alternative income streams into our organisation but also established partnerships and programmes that are aligned with our vision of whānau transformation through education," he said.