New Chair and Deputy to lead Whanganui & Partners Board

Gaelle Deighton has been announced as Whanganui & Partners' new Board Chair with Anne-Marie Broughton supporting as Deputy Chair.

The economic development agency’s Board has elected Deighton following the departure of long-standing Chair Pahia Turia. Deighton had been serving as Turia’s Deputy Chair and has been an integral member of the agency’s governance board since August 2019.

Deighton also previously served as Acting Chief Executive for Whanganui & Partners over a six-month period ending in December 2020. She has three decades of experience in economic development, notably standing as Chief Executive of Manukau City’s economic development agency.

Deighton said working in economic development required a passion for people and a desire to see them thrive and succeed.

“To be involved in this work you need to have a strong sense of community and a visionary approach. I know these are values shared by the team at Whanganui & Partners and the role of the Chair and Board is to empower our people. The Board provides the support and oversight that enables success, that is our Board’s aim – to facilitate and encourage the work of our trusted team.”

Turia, who had been on the Board since February 2015, said the appointment of Deighton as Chair reinforced Whanganui & Partners’ belief in maintaining confidence through consistency and the proven depth of ability of its own people.

“With a few changes lately, it has been a great source of reassurance to see that we have not had to sacrifice quality of leadership either at the agency or Board level. We’ve been able to look to our own people to find the best leadership available, which is a position we feel very fortunate to be in.”

Turia recently announced the appointment of Jonathan Sykes as Chief Executive following former CE Hannah Middleton stepping down to focus on her young family.

Deighton’s wealth of experience in economic development is supported by an in-depth knowledge of central and local government processes and policies in economic development, employment, community and business development.

She said the Board was proud to see Turia take up the role of Chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana Māori Fisheries Trust and wished him well but was very sad to see him go.

“My experience has taught me the value of having the right people behind you, proudly representing and advocating for a shared kaupapa. Pahia’s strengths are too many to count and his contribution to Whanganui & Partners, the impact of his leadership, is extraordinary.

“We are so very grateful for Pahia, we wish him the best and we know he won’t be a stranger – in fact, we won’t allow it!”

Deighton said she was delighted to have Broughton by her side as Deputy Chair. “Anne-Marie and I joined the Board at the same time in August 2019 and it has been a pleasure to govern together alongside a motivated and dedicated group.”

Broughton was born and raised in the Whanganui region and has extensive experience in sustainability, innovation, business development, management and growth.

Broughton is an experienced governor and manager and is currently on the board of Crown Regional Holdings (Kanoa), Parininihi Ki Waitōtara Incorporation, and other primary sector-related organisations. She was the Kaiwhakahaere (General Manager) of the Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi Post Settlement Governance Entity – Te Kaahui o Rauru for more than five years and is the current Chair of Whenuakura Marae
Deighton and Broughton are supported by four directors, Stephen Lee, Phill Bedford, Michelle Caldwell and Mark Cleaver.

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