Horizons reappoints Michael McCartney as chief executive

Horizons Regional Council has reappointed Michael McCartney as chief executive for another five years.

Horizons chair Rachel Keedwell says that local council governance bodies are responsible for employing chief executives, who are appointed for a term of no more than five years.
“The position is either then reappointed for a further two years or advertised with the current chief executive able to apply.
“As Michael has led Horizons for 16 years already, Council thought it was important to go to the market to ensure we had the best chief executive to lead our organisation into the future,” says Cr Keedwell.
“Following a rigorous process, with excellent candidates who put their names forward, it was agreed that Michael was still the best person for the job. As such, I am delighted to announce his reappointment as Horizons’ chief executive for another five years.
“Michael has dedicated his career to public service, and has spent over 30 years in local government. He is an incredibly skilled chief executive who has clearly shown us that he still has much to offer.
“Michael’s strengths lie in his strategic thinking, his ability to see the big picture and position the organisation for the future, and his relationships with iwi, stakeholders, and local and central government peers.
“Michael is a genuine leader to Horizons’ 300+ staff across a vast and varied region. His open door policy and two-way communication style includes the encouragement of staff progression and initiatives that enhance wellbeing.
“In addition to keep his pulse on Horizons’ current operating environment he has a good grasp on the significant challenges and opportunities local government is currently facing.
“His leadership is also reflected at a regional level where he continuously brings together our seven territorial authorities to ensure collectively we are being heard at a central government level.
“Just some of the key programmes he has helped initiate and lead are Accelerate25, the region’s economic growth programme, the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord, the Manawatū-Whanganui Local Authority Shared Services company, and more recently the Regional Leadership Group which brought together local government, iwi, Pasifika, health, and social development services during our regional response to Covid-19.
“At a national level, he is well known for his leadership of Te Uru Kahika – Regional Councils and Unitary Authorities Aotearoa’s chief executives group and the establishment of the Regional Sector Special Interest Group Network. As a result, he is responsible for a large proportion of the sector’s collaborative work programmes and the strong advocacy for regional councils such as actively working on behalf of the sector with the Future of Local Government Panel.
“His connection to not only his local government peers but his central government ones is something that Horizons and its community benefits from immensely.
“On a personal level, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Michael over the past three years in my role of Chair. I have been able to watch Michael in action from close range and see why his leadership style gains the respect of people both inside and outside of Horizons.
“The last local government elections saw a 50 per cent renewal of regional councillors and a new chairperson, signalling a change of direction. Michael quickly responded to this challenge by reflecting this new direction in how the organisation does its business.
“I have appreciated the guidance and understanding he has shown me as I stepped into the role as Chair. The job of a chief executive in local government can be fraught with political tensions but Michael does a great job of managing these differing views and does his best to satisfy all 12 of his bosses.
“On behalf of Horizons Regional Council, I congratulate Michael on his reappointment.”