Today we’re providing an update on progress since we took our first steps as the new economic and cultural agency for Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland on 1 December 2020.

In transforming legacy RFA and ATEED into a single, fully integrated business, we have been developing an exciting new operating model that will position us to deliver exceptional outcomes for Auckland.  

Designed to position Auckland Unlimited to deliver on our Statement of Intent and enable bold economic and cultural development decisions, it forms the foundation for how our business will be organised. It sets us up to provide a comprehensive, region-wide programme of business investment, support and innovation, and cultural vibrancy. The model will also position us to work in a more co-ordinated way with our wide network of partners, clients and stakeholders across sectors.

Auckland Unlimited will have four key rōpū (groups)

Our new model is organised into four key rōpū, as shown below. These are the ‘buckets’ that will house all our current business units and activities, supported by a core delivery network.

Industry & Investment rōpū

Creates and facilitates opportunities to attract people to our region, including destination initiatives, business and investment, screen industry and workforce development. These functions previously sat within Economic Development, and Destination at legacy ATEED.

Cultural Organisations rōpū

Provides a connected approach for the important and unique cultural institutions and visitor experiences from legacy RFA (Auckland Zoo, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland Stadiums and NZ Maritime Museum)

Māori Outcomes rōpū

Māori Outcomes are woven throughout the new model, at a governance level and through all our operating and service delivery areas. It is entrenched in our Statement of Intent where it will be tika or ‘the way things are done at Auckland Unlimited’.

Arts, Entertainment & Events rōpū

Attracts and delivers Auckland Unlimited’s events and programmes, and supports the wider performing arts and major events communities through grants and development initiatives and other services. Brands such as Auckland Live will be part of this wider rōpū, while maintaining their current brand.

Leadership in our new operating model

To deliver in these key business areas, we are moving to a single executive team working across our unified organisation. Our rōpū model creates four new director roles; and there are four executive roles to support key business functions.

We will also have a Change and Transformation Director on board to work on our organisational structures under each business area over the next two years.

Our focus is on effective, innovative and transformational outcomes for Auckland and for our people, partners, clients, stakeholders and investors.

New leadership roles

  • Director - Industry & Investment
  • Director - Māori Outcomes
  • Director - Cultural Organisations
  • Director - Arts, Entertainment & Events

Existing roles

  • Chief People Officer
  • Chief Financial & Corporate Services Officer

New business function roles

  • Chief Digital Officer
  • Director - Marketing & Communications
  • Director - Change & Transformation

What’s next?

We will start to move our current legacy RFA and ATEED business units into their relevant rōpū areas. Once new executives are appointed, the organisational structures under each area, including within our core services areas, will be developed.

A recruitment process is underway for the new executive roles.

We are excited about the changes ahead, and we are very happy to answer any questions you may have. Please get in touch with us via if you need more information.

The relationships we have, and the passion we share for growing and developing all our different sectors, will get stronger as we become a more integrated business. We want to unlock the full benefits of our union for Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

Nick Hill, Chief Executive