Two new members have been appointed to the Whanganui & Partners board.

Stephen Lee and Philip Bedford will join the governance team of the Whanganui District Council's economic development agency while Jonathan Russell has been re-appointed.

Mr Bedford is the chief executive of the New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy and before that was commanding officer at the base headquarters at Ohakea.

He has held executive management positions and serves on boards including as trustee of RNZAF Welfare Fund, chairman of Base Leadership Group Ohakea and as a trustee of Carncott School.


Mr Lee is currently general manager of Manuka Farming NZ and has held positions in foreign affairs, trade and marketing.

"We had great candidates to choose from and I'm very pleased with the resulting mix of skills and experience we will now have contributing to the Whanganui & Partners Board," Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall said.

Board chairman Myles Fothergill said the organisation now had an experienced board and full complement of staff led by new general manager Philippa Ivory.

He said nine new businesses have been supported to start up in Whanganui.

"Whanganui is on a roll and there's real optimism out there. I'm confident that Whanganui & Partners is ready to make a valuable difference and will be maximising every opportunity to grow our fantastic district."

The board met this week as it works to finalise its statement of intent and strategic plan.

"The one thing that came out of our meeting yesterday is that we all work for council. So we're all on the same page," Mr Fothergill said.

"We're very pleased about the organisation itself and the potential moving forward."

Ms Ivory said it was working "very actively on identifying the best way to sell Whanganui to people".

"Contrary to popular belief, despite the fact that we've gone over and over and over the vision and the mission, and I know it can be challenging for people to do that, I think the one we've come up with as of yesterday is actually outstanding.

"I hope that when you see our statement of intent and our draft strategic plan you are pleasantly surprised."

The Whanganui & Partners board is Myles Fothergill (chair), Suzanne Clay (deputy chair), Tania King, Pahia Turia, Jonathan Russell, Stephen Lee and Phillip Bedford.

Rory Smith is no longer on the board.