Napier City Council chief executive Dr Stephanie Rotarangi was wasting no time getting into the thick of the new role as she attended a hearing of rates policy submissions on her first day today.
Fresh from 14-days' Covid-19 quarantine followed by a family holiday and settling three children into three different schools in Napier after moving back to New Zealand from Melbourne, she replaces former CEO Wayne Jack, who departed for West Australia almost 12 months ago.
She is Napier's first woman in the role of town clerk, city manager or CEO in the 147 years since the municipality was established as the Napier Borough Council in 1874.
There have been two acting chief executives pending a permanent replacement for Jack, and Dr Rotarangi's appointment was announced in late December, with hopes she would be able to start today, depending on her availability amid the uncertainty of the Covid-19 crisis, in which she has played a significant role in Australia.
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There she's co-ordinated the pandemic outbreak responses in Victoria for the last six months in a role as the state's deputy commissioner, emergency management, and previously lead the 2019-2020 Victorian bush fire response, and state-wide reform of fire services, encompassing 50,000 staff and volunteers across Victoria.
Having arrived in Napier just last Wednesday, she barely had time to meet councillors and staff today before heading to the hearing - an extraordinary meeting of the council to consider the rating-revamp in its official form as the revenue and financing policy.
The hearings, in the Large Exhibition Hall at civic politics hot-potato the Napier War Memorial Centre, follow consultation that took place last year, on the most significant rating policy changes in Napier in 30 years.
It's set for three days with 29 submitters expected to speak to mayor Kirsten Wise and the full council.
The mayor said today: "Given the complexities of moving countries in this current environment, I am pleased that we could get Steph on board with us so quickly after making her appointment."
Dr Rotarangi grew up in central and south Otago but she and husband Ants had lived in Napier as young graduates.