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Wellbeing Project lead appointed

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An expert in economic development, strategy and stakeholder relationships will help the Waikato work towards targets for a greener, healthier region. Harvey Brookes has been appointed executive director of the Waikato Wellbeing Project, a regional initiative to achieve a more environmentally sustainable, prosperous and inclusive Waikato by 2030.

The project has 10 specific targets, based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and developed for the Waikato region through workshops with hundreds of local leaders and experts last year.

Brookes said the Waikato Wellbeing Project was a fantastic opportunity to unleash the awesome potential and power of the Waikato and its people, and “accelerate the journey towards our ambitious wellbeing goals”.

“I’m very excited to be part of this mahi and look forward to working alongside all those with a stake in a better future.”

Waikato Regional Council chief executive Chris McLay said Brookes demonstrated a depth and range of experience across environmental, economic, social and cultural wellbeings, strategy and start-ups, including the establishment of the Waikato region’s economic development agency, Te Waka.

“Not only does Harvey have a wealth of experience and contacts, but he was born and bred in the Waikato. He knows the Waikato.

“His appointment will help make the right people come together to address the challenges we face as a region, to make us more economically resilient, and to further improve our quality of life.”

WEL Energy Trust chief executive Raewyn Jones said Brookes already had direct experience with the project and a proven track record in scoping, designing and implementing major organisational change projects.

“Many people will know Harvey through his leadership of economic development strategies in Auckland and Waikato, but he’s also known for working with community groups to shape projects supporting iwi business development, biodiversity enhancement and the regional housing strategy. He’s had key roles in the areas of coastal, hazards and environmental management also. Our wellbeing targets touch across all such aspects of life.”

WEL Energy Trust has committed to spend $3 million over five years to establish and seed fund the Waikato Wellbeing Project’s support function, with the regional council providing $100,000 and work in-kind resourcing.

To find out more about the project, see https://www.waikatowellbeingproject.co.nz/

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