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Hawke's Bay councils appoint regional procurement director

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A new Hawke’s Bay regional strategic procurement director has been appointed by the region’s five councils, the first such role to be created in the country.

Current Air New Zealand manager procurement Simon James will start in the role in February next year, and brings significant experience, says Hastings District Council chief executive Nigel Bickle.

In his current role Mr James leads the airline’s supplier relationship management programme, but his time with the company has also seen him lead a number of strategic programmes, in addition to managing relationships with the airline’s key supplier partnerships across the aircraft programmes, and food and beverage portfolios.

Before joining Air New Zealand in 2012, he held a number of senior procurement and management roles with Vodafone, Spark, PwC and Coca Cola Amatil both in the UK and in New Zealand.

He holds a MSC in Geographical Information Systems and MCIPS from The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.

Mr Bickle says between them, the five councils are likely to be spending $1.6 billion in capital over the next 10 years and that they had operating budgets of $300m per annum.

“We are committed to moving over time from a tactical approach to procurement to a more strategic relationship management approach.

“We think there are opportunities to get better value on some of our big categories of spend and to also explore how our investment can support better outcomes for our region – such as social procurement, growing local firms, building Maori enterprise.”

Although he will be reporting to all five council chief executives (Central Hawke’s Bay District, Hastings District, Napier City, Wairoa District and Hawke’s Bay Regional), Mr James will be based at the Hastings District Council civic building.

Mr James says he’s looking forward to the opportunity of working with the region’s five councils, to lead and develop a sustainable procurement model that supports them to meet their collective objectives, which is expected to have an immensely positive impact on the Hawke’s Bay region.

“My family and I are excited to be moving to Hawke’s Bay from Auckland in the next few months. My wife Kate is originally from Havelock North and we know we’re lucky to be joining the wonderful Hawke’s Bay community.”

13 December 2019

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