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Council Structure

Image for the Council Structure page.
This page contains information about the political and management structure of Council, and how these work together.
Updated: 18/03/2020 3:10 p.m.

Political structure

In addition to meetings of the full Council, decision-making is separated into four Committees of the Whole and four Specialist Committees.

They set policy and monitor management activity to make sure that Council business is being conducted in accordance with legislation, Council's strategic objectives and the 'Community Outcome' objectives.

Follow the link below for details of the Committees, their terms of reference and membership.

Council Committees

Management structure

The Mayor and Councillors appoint a Chief Executive (CE) to manage Council operations and lead it's administrative organisation. The CE has statutory powers granted by the Local Government Act and other powers granted at the discretion of the elected Council.

The CE is responsible for:

  • advising the Mayor and Councillors on policy matters.
  • ensuring any policy adopted by Council is correctly implemented.

The CE performs these responsibilities by delegating tasks and authority to a senior Leadership Team and other Council staff.

Leadership Team

Our senior management team comprises of five personnel, and is headed by Chief Executive, Rob Forlong.

Photo of Rob Forlong, Chief Executive.

Rob Forlong

Chief Executive

Chief Executive of Whangarei District Council, charged with providing local government services to the 96,000 people in the District, managing $1.45bn of community, waste, water and transport assets, and managing land use in the District.

Rob has held other significant leadership roles at:

  • Chief Executive level (NZ Environmental Protection Authority, NZ Environmental Risk Management Authority) and
  • Senior Executive level with Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Other major work experience includes coastal and marine conservation, and policy analysis.

He has had 20 years experience in leadership roles, including managerial positions at the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

He gained his Master of Science (MSc), Bachelor of Science, Zoology/Animal Biology at Massey University.

He has also gained qualifications through:

  • the London Business School Senior Executive Programme,
  • the INSEAD AVIRA programme and
  • Chicago Graduate School of Business, Implementing Innovation and Change.

Rob is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, and an Associate Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management.

Photo of Simon Weston, General Manager Infrastructure.

Simon Weston

General Manager – Infrastructure

Focusing on Council's main areas of expenditure including:

  • Waste,
  • Drainage,
  • Water,
  • Roading,
  • Parks and
  • Major Projects.

Simon has held a range of roles with Vale Construction in the United Kingdom.

He was Projects Estimator and Project Manager for the Engineering side of ATEC / Capital Controls / Tetra Systems in the United Kingdom, and was later Senior Engineer at Auckland City Council.

Simon’s experience spans 33 years in the construction field with over 20 years’ experience in local government. 

His qualifications include:

  • a Diploma in Civil Engineering,
  • a Higher National Certificate in Civil Engineering,
  • a Bachelor of Science Civil Engineering Management,
  • a Master of Science in Construction and Management and
  • has an Executive MBA from Melbourne University.

Is a Member of the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand, International Professional Engineers and is a Chartered Professional Engineer.

Photo of Alan Adcock, General Manager Corporate.

Alan Adcock

General Manager - Corporate

Focusing on the provision of:

  • quality Customer Services,
  • Rates,
  • Democracy,
  • Finance,
  • Community Development,
  • Information Technology and
  • Property Services.

Has worked in the area of general management for more than 20 years including Head of Corporate Management with the Bank of New Zealand.

Formerly he was the Assistant Vice-President, IT Finance with Credit Suisse First Boston (UK) and Chief Manager, Auckland with AXA.

He has been with Council since January 2006.

His qualifications include:

  • a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland (1983) and
  • an MBA (with Distinction) from the City University of London Business School (1999).
Image of Dominic Kula.

Dominic Kula

General Manager - Strategy and Democracy

Focusing on cross-Council matters for:

  • Governance,
  • Internal Audit,
  • Risk,
  • Legal,
  • Maori and
  • Strategy.

Dominic has worked in the public sector for 16 years, having held a number roles within both the Department of Conservation and Council.

Since joining in October 2006 Dominic has held leadership roles in Parks, Infrastructure and Governance.

Dominic's qualifications include:

  • a Bachelor of Recreation Management and
  • an Executive MBA from the University of Auckland.

He also has qualifications in Environmental Science.

Photo of Sandra Boardman - General Manager Community.

Sandra Boardman

General Manager - Community

Focusing on all our customer-facing services including:

  • Customer Services,
  • Libraries,
  • i-Sites and District Venues and Community Events,
  • Community Services (funding),
  • Civil Defence,
  • Pensioner Housing,
  • Property Asset Management and
  • Village Planning.

Sandra has had 33 years experience working in the health sector in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, most recently as the Executive Director - Planning and Funding - for the Southern District Health Board. 

She has a wide range of experience, primarily in the health sector, engaging with communities in both NZ and the UK. 

Sandra gained:

  • her BSC in Pharmacy from Leicester Polytechnic and
  • her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Durham.
Photo of Alison Geddes - General Manager Planning and Development.

Alison Geddes

General Manager - Planning and Development

Focusing on all elements of planning and development including:

  • District Plan development,
  • Resource Consents,
  • Regulatory Services,
  • Commercial Property,
  • Tourism and Marketing and
  • Economic Development.

Alison is a former General Manager of Environmental Services at the North Shore City Council and Deputy Chief Executive of the Department of Building and Housing. 

She has been most recently working in local and state government in Australia.

Her qualifications include:

  • a Bachelor of Town Planning and
  • an executive MBA from the University of Auckland.

She also gained qualifications from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.



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