The CHB District Council's new chief executive, Monique Davidson, was welcomed to the community at a powhiri held at the CHB Municipal Theatre in Waipawa yesterday.

Although she officially starts the role on Tuesday next week, Mrs Davidson had already bought a property in Waipawa with husband John and their two children Lachlan, 2, and Georgia, 9 months, who all joined her at the event.

Also in attendance were Taiwhenua Tamatea representatives, CHB College students, CHB councillors and council staff, representatives from Horowhenua District Council and local iwi, and invited members of the public.

Mrs Davidson, who had worked at the Horowhenua District Council for seven years, two of those as deputy chief executive, takes over the role from former chief executive John Freeman, who resigned this year after 12 years in the position.


At yesterday's powhiri she said it was a privilege to be there with the support of the Horowhenua council and her family.

"Today marks the start of a journey for us all where collectively we work together to make this district stronger, healthier and more connected.

"I am committed to leading this organisation and working with elected members, iwi, community and staff to make Central Hawke's Bay thrive."

Aged 29 when she was appointed, she was one of the youngest chief executives in the country, and CHB Mayor Alex Walker welcomed her on board on behalf of the councillors and council staff.

"As a council we have a focus around moving to the future with positivity - it's about people, prosperity and progress.

"People are a core part of those values and the leadership of the council organisation, who are guardians and workers on behalf of our community, is a very important part of that."

Horowhenua District Council chief executive David Clapperton acknowledged the team that had travelled with him to hand over "this treasure".

He said the CHB District Council had made a wise choice in appointing Mrs Davidson.


"It's bittersweet - for us we lose someone who is a very valuable part of our team, but we are also allowing her to go to another community who she will lead well over the next few years.

"We'll be watching her progress from afar."