Whanganui and Partners board member Gaelle Deighton has been appointed its interim chief executive after the departure of Mark Ward.

The "immediate" departure of Ward, after 16 months in the job, was announced on May 29.

Deighton joined the Whanganui and Partners board in 2019.

At that time she was living in Auckland but had relatives in Whanganui and was planning to move here.


A Whanganui and Partners spokesperson said Deighton had many years of experience in economic development.

She was the CEO of Enterprise Manukau, a south Auckland economic development agency that she established and built over 20 years.

She has also had roles with a Crown entity subsidiary and was a trustee with two community social services organisations.

Whanganui and Partners' board chairman Pahia Turia said it would be advertising for another full-time chief executive.

Meanwhile, in response to recent criticism Whanganui and Partners received from the Whanganui Chamber of Commerce and Thrive Whanganui about the economic development agency's ability to work with other organisations, Turia said they were both key organisations, that it welcomed their feedback and it would be taken on board.