Media release

Two New General Managers Join ORC’s Executive Leadership Team

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Richard Saunders has joined the Otago Regional Council (ORC) as the new General Manager Regulatory, and Gwyneth Elsum as the General Manager Policy, Science and Strategy, rounding out a full complement in the Executive Leadership Team.

Mr Saunders said he was excited about the role, and acknowledged the growing regulatory importance of regional councils.

“I’m looking forward to supporting ORC’s work around the region. The public’s expectations of regional councils are increasing as environmental issues gain more visibility and importance. I see it as a critical part of my role to ensure—alongside my team—that we are best placed to respond to these expectations.”

Mr Saunders attended his first round of ORC Committee Meetings last week. He comes to ORC from previous local government positions.

“I’m keen to transfer some of my experience into this new role and learn more about the wider region.”

From slightly farther afield is Gwyneth Elsum, whose previous role was Manager Corporate Strategy and Industry Leadership at Melbourne Water. Ms Elsum has a wealth of experience working in water and environment for government and utilities.

Ms Elsum said she was looking forward to working across the diverse ranges of activities that the Council is responsible for.

“I’m keen to ensure we service the region through evidence-based planning so together we can set Otago up for an even better future.”

“My trips to Otago in the past have been as a visitor, and I’m looking forward to getting to know the region’s environment and communities better,” she said.

ORC Chief Executive Sarah Gardner said she was pleased to have Mr Saunders and Ms Elsum join the team.

“I’m really delighted to have these two join our Executive Leadership Team. Richard and Gwyneth both bring proven managerial experience to the table, and they will be terrific assets for the organisation in the crucial regulatory and policy spaces.”

Mrs Gardner also thanked Peter Winder and Andrew Newman for their work as Acting General Managers.

“Peter and Andrew have done a great job in these roles, and leave us in good stead as we look forward to the challenges on the horizon, and to the start of a new triennium.”

New General Manager Regulatory Richard Saunders.

New General Manager Regulatory Richard Saunders.

New General Manager Policy, Science and Strategy Gwyneth Elsum.

New General Manager Policy, Science and Strategy Gwyneth Elsum.