11 Apr 2015

EPA chief leaves for top job at Whangarei Council

5:27 pm on 11 April 2015

The Whangarei District Council has appointed the current head of the Environmental Protection Authority as its new chief executive.

Environmental Protection Authority chief executive Rob Forlong.

Environmental Protection Authority chief executive Rob Forlong. Photo: Supplied

Rob Forlong will replace the council's long-serving chief executive Mark Simpson, whose contract expired last month.

Mayor Sheryl Mai said Rob Forlong had impressive management experience and his connections in Wellington would be helpful for Whangarei.

She said the council was thrilled to have attracted someone of such high calibre to the position.

Whangarei Council's new chief executive will earn about the same amount Mr Simpson was paid - and he begins the job in July.

Mr Forlong said he spent time in Whangarei as a child and was looking forward to returning.

He said that district councils do great things in their communities, and he is going to enjoy working in and for Whangarei, where he hopes to buy some land in order to have a lifestyle as well as a job.

Mr Forlong said the EPA was now relatively stable after its transition from the Environmental Risk Management Authority.

Mr Forlong, who has previously worked for the Department of Conservation and the Greater Wellington Regional Council, said Whangarei had a lot going for it, and he believed it was on the cusp of something special.

The Mayor of Whangarei, Sheryl Mai, said her council was elated to have scored a highly rated public servant as its new chief executive.

Ms Mai said Mr Forlong had the exact mix of management and people skills Whangarei needs.

The council's former chief executive, Mark Simpson, left last month after 17 years, when his contract was not renewed.