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Te Waka COO to take on new economic development role

On the back of his commitment to the Waikato region’s economic development, Te Waka chief operating officer Harvey Brookes will begin a new role with economic and public policy consulting firm MartinJenkins after Easter.

Te Waka board chair Dallas Fisher says Brookes has been a significant driver of economic development in the Waikato region for many years, having overseen the establishment of Te Waka since 2015 and as the programme manager for its forerunner, Waikato Means Business.

“Harvey’s contribution to Te Waka, and the region’s economic development has been immense,” says Fisher. “We are incredibly grateful for the work he’s done, and his expertise and guidance has been invaluable to the establishment of Te Waka and in setting the economic development programme for 2018-2022.”

Brookes says he is leaving confident with the direction Te Waka is moving in. “Te Waka has a great team in place and is starting to gain some real momentum with at-scale projects.”

Brookes will remain in the economic development space with MartinJenkins, and continue to be based in the Waikato. “I’m excited to pursue a new challenge and with MartinJenkins I’m looking forward to contributing to the region’s economic development and continue to work with Waikato businesses – Innovation Park will still be my home,” he says.

Te Waka CEO Michael Bassett-Foss says Te Waka has benefited enormously from Brookes’ extensive experience and guidance. “It’s great that Harvey will still be part of the economic development ecosystem in the region. His passion for the region is unparalleled so we’re pleased he will continue to have a major role in this space.”

Bassett-Foss says Te Waka continues to progress in its role as the “front door” for the region.

“We have a number of significant projects underway, including work on the South Waikato Economic Action Plan, implementation of the Labour Market Strategy and supporting the development of some exciting projects in the tourism and cultural education network.

“There are some really positive things ahead for the region and we’re looking forward to keeping everyone informed and engaged as we progress.”