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LGNZ names Susan Freeman-Greene as new CEO

Local Government New Zealand is pleased to announce that it has appointed Susan Freeman-Greene to replace outgoing Chief Executive Malcolm Alexander, who announced his retirement at the beginning of 2020.

Local Government New Zealand is pleased to announce that it has appointed Susan Freeman-Greene to replace outgoing Chief Executive Malcolm Alexander, who announced his retirement at the beginning of 2020.

LGNZ is the peak body representing New Zealand’s 78 local councils, providing a unified voice for local government and a pathway for performance development through CouncilMARK™, the sector’s independent assessment and continuous improvement programme.

“New Zealand’s local government sector stands on the precipice of change as councils look for new ways to lift the wellbeing of their communities amid some significant headwinds such as climate change, housing affordability and most recently the Covid-19 pandemic,” said LGNZ President Dave Cull.

“The sector has successfully faced similar challenges in the past, and key to this has been world class leadership at LGNZ. In recruiting for this role, Susan immediately stood out as this kind of leader, which is why I am delighted to name her as our new Chief Executive.”

Ms Freeman-Greene joins LGNZ from Engineering New Zealand, an organisation she has led since 2015. Trained as a lawyer, she practised law in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, has extensive experience as a professional mediator, and previously held senior positions at the Broadcasting Standards Authority, New Zealand Human Rights Commission and Department of Labour.

“I'm delighted to join LGNZ at this critical time. Local government sits at the heart of our communities and is vital to our social, cultural, environmental and economic well-being,” said incoming LGNZ Chief Executive Susan Freeman-Greene. 

“Right now, with funding and capacity constraints gripping even harder than usual, many of local government's challenges are exacerbated.  More than ever Aotearoa needs us all to work together - from rebuilding our economy, to ensuring we pull together in the pursuit of equality. Local government is central to these - and many other - issues.” 

“I am confident we can continue to build on our relationships with central government, and our diverse communities, to harness the strength, heart and unity of Aotearoa for future generations. I look forward to contributing to this important mahi.”  

Ms Freeman-Greene will officially take up the role at LGNZ on 28 September.

“I would like to expressly thank Malcolm Alexander for the visionary leadership, commitment to council performance improvement, and dedication to the pursuit of local democracy over his eight year tenure,” said Mr Cull. 

“His free, frank and sage advice was always appreciated by those who sought it, and he leaves behind him an institutional legacy that will ultimately benefit communities through the likes of CouncilMARK™, EquiP, and LGNZ’s Localism work.”

“As someone who has left an indelible mark on LGNZ, we know he will be successful in his future endeavours, and wish him well on his journey.”