The Taranaki Regional Council has appointed Steve Ruru as its new chief executive.

Mr Ruru (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Ranginui) has been chief executive of Southland District Council since 2014, having previously served as chief executive of both the Kaipara District Council and the Thames-Coromandel District Council. He's also had senior leadership roles in the health sector, and was finance manager at Waikato Regional Council in the early 1990s.

"Steve impressed us as an extremely able and far-sighted leader who relishes challenges and maintains a strong focus on partnership with the community," says council chairman David MacLeod.

"And he clearly appreciates the need for both environmental and economic wellbeing."

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Mr Ruru says the new role is "a great opportunity for a new challenge and the chance to lead a regional council during an exciting period in the local government sector, particularly with the ongoing focus on the broader water agenda".

He says he is thrilled with the appointment.

"I am very much looking forward to the new role and the many opportunities that it presents to make a contribution to the Taranaki region.

"Initially I will be looking to develop new relationships with staff, elected members and the wider community to ensure that I develop a good understanding of their aspirations and the opportunities which they see existing for making a difference.

"There is the opportunity to continue to build a top-performing organisation that continually adds value to the community it serves."

Mr Ruru will take up his new role in early October. Until then, the TRC's acting chief executive is Mike Nield, the director of corporate services.