Last month, I updated you on the new operating model we’ve implemented for Auckland Unlimited, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s new economic and cultural agency. 

Today, I’m proud to announce the latest appointments to our leadership team – people who are hugely experienced and capable, and are extremely passionate about their important roles in helping bring to life a new operating model that will position us to deliver exceptional outcomes for Auckland.

  • Pam Ford, Director – Investment & Industry: Previously ATEED’s General Manager Economic Development, Pam will lead the Investment & Industry rōpū (group) which creates and facilitates opportunities to attract people to our region, including destination initiatives, business and investment, sustainability and climate change, screen industry and workforce development.
  • Helen Te Hira, Director – Māori Outcomes: Previously RFA’s General Manager Kaupapa Māori, Helen will lead the Māori Outcomes rōpū. The need to deliver for mana whenua and mataawaka is woven throughout Auckland Unlimited’s new model. 

 The following roles have been filled on an interim basis while permanent recruitment is undertaken.

  • Robbie Macrae, Director – Arts, Entertainment & Events (Interim): Robbie, who is currently Director for Auckland Live, will lead the rōpū which 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.
  • Heather Harris, Director – Cultural Organisations (Interim): Heather joins Auckland Unlimited from Victoria and Albert Museum and was previously COO for Auckland War Memorial Museum. She will provide a connected approach for important and unique cultural institutions and visitor experiences (Auckland Zoo, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland Stadiums and NZ Maritime Museum).

I’d like to congratulate the new and interim appointments to our leadership team, who will begin to come on board from 24 July. They join me, Lynn Johnson (Chief People Officer) and Brian Monk (interim Chief Financial & Corporate Services Officer), who were previously appointed during our transformation process. 

The task ahead for us, and the wider organisation, is clear: we must establish Auckland Unlimited as the region’s new economic and cultural agency and demonstrate our value to all Aucklanders.

It’s vital that we continue the good progress of transforming legacy RFA and ATEED into a single, fully integrated business that will deliver on our Statement of Intent and enable bold economic and cultural development decisions. Our team is committed to realising this vision, and we are excited by the task at hand.

The appointments to Auckland Unlimited’s lead team were made following a robust selection process, with interviews conducted by panels which included board directors and external experts. It has been a rewarding process to undertake, and on behalf of our board I thank all the candidates for being part of it. 

What's next?  

We will be working to appoint the three remaining roles of Director – Marketing & Communications, Director – Change & Transformation (Fixed Term) and Chief Digital Officer. We will keep you up to date as these plans progress. 

Recruitment for the lead team positions which have been filled on an interim basis (including the Chief Financial & Corporate Services Officer role which Brian Monk has agreed to stay on in until the end of 2021), and positions which are still to be filled will be concluded as quickly as possible.  

If you have any questions or would like more information, please get in touch via

Announcing these new appointments is another important step for Auckland Unlimited as we continue to create an organisation that can partner to deliver world class results for a world class region. We look forward to working with you on this journey.

Nick Hill, Chief Executive