Leonie Freeman has been appointed the new chief executive officer of Property Council New Zealand.
Freeman has extensive experience in the New Zealand property industry, having held top positions in both the public and private sector.
She replaces current chief executive, Connal Townsend, who will officially retire on 31 December 2018 after serving as Property Council's CEO for almost 15 years.
John Dakin, Property Council New Zealand national president, said Freeman has a unique breadth of insight into New Zealand property.
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"We're delighted that after an extensive search, both nationally and internationally, we've found someone of Leonie's calibre and expertise," Dakin said.
"Leonie has a unique breadth of insight into New Zealand property. Her deep knowledge of both the commercial and residential sectors stand her in good stead to champion the industry and work constructively with central and local government."
In 1996, Freeman created the concept of what is now realestate.co.nz, one of the first major commercial websites launched in New Zealand and in 2011 was appointed to the board of NZX-listed company Goodman Property Trust.
Freeman said she was excited to be to lead the Property Council to help increase New Zealand's prosperity.
"Commercial and residential property affects all of our lives. Here in New Zealand there are some big issues facing our property industry. Solving them for the good of all of us will require coordinated leadership and vision. I'm excited to be able to lead Property Council at this critical time to help increase New Zealand's prosperity," Freeman said.
Bindi Norwell, chief executive at the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) said Freeman woud bring significant experience to the role as throughout her career she had worked tirelessly to better the industry and to try and solve the housing crisis.
"As New Zealand celebrates 125 years since women first received the vote it's wonderful to see another female chief executive being appointed in the property industry," she said.
Freeman's position is effective from early December 2018.