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About Council
~ Te kaunihera


Executive Team

The Executive team consists of:

Corporate Structure

Effective from 1 July 2018

James Palmer

Position: Chief Executive of HBRC

Born and raised in Hawke’s Bay, James has been Chief Executive since June 2017, having previously served as the Council’s Group Manager Strategic Development. Prior to working at the Council, James was Deputy Secretary Sector Strategy at the Ministry for the Environment and Director Strategy at both the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry before that. Between 2005 and 2008 James served as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity, and was an advisor in the Labour-led government between 1999 and 2003.
James is a former Chairperson and Trustee of the Eastern and Central Community Trust, has previously served two terms as a trustee of the Hawkes Bay Power Consumers’ Trust, and is a former director of Esk Hydro Power Ltd. James was educated at Victoria and Otago Universities and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Position vacant

Position: Manager Office of the Chief Executive and Chair

Jessica Ellerm

Position: Corporate Services Group Manager

Iain Maxwell

Position: Integrated Catchment Management Group Manager

Tom Skerman

Position: Strategic Planning Group Manager

Prior to his appointment as Group Manager, Tom was HBRC’s economic development manager.
Until 2004 he was involved in a sheep, beef and horticulture business in New Zealand and Australia. A Nuffield Scholarship in 2016 gave him the opportunity to spend 5 months travelling internationally, observing first-hand the global challenges and opportunities associated with the primary sector’s use and management of natural resources.
Tom has practiced law locally in Hawke’s Bay and worked in Wellington as a commercial development manager for the Maori Trustee, Te Tumu Paeroa, where he identified, analysed and executed commercial opportunities for owners of Māori freehold land.

Acting Group Manager - Gary Clode

Position: Asset Management Group Manager (Position currently vacant)

Liz Lambert

Position: Regulation Group Manager

Ian Macdonald

Position: HB Civil Defence Group Manager

Postion vacant

Position: Tumuaki - Maori Partnerships

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