New CEO for Vision Manawatu

Vision Manawatu has appointed a new permanent chief executive as the agency's role leading economic development in the region is reviewed.

Former chief executive of Higgins Group Holdings Alan Cockrell has been appointed to head the organisation, it was confirmed today.

It is nine months since the organisation has had a chief, with Rodney Wong leading Vision through the past six months on a temporary contract after Elaine Reilly resigned last year.

Vision Manawatu Trust Board chair Anne Podd said Cockrell was an experienced, visionary businessman who would bring a wealth of knowledge to his new role.

Prior to his chief executive role with Higgins, Cockrell held various senior management roles in the transport industry, including managing director of Truck Investments Limited for 21 years.

He is also a chartered accountant. 

"Alan has an excellent knowledge of the Manawatu and an extensive network of contacts amongst the business community throughout New Zealand," Podd said.

Podd said that in Wong's six months, which end on Friday, he had developed a practical business plan, provided leadership and mentoring for staff, maintained and strengthened relationships with sponsors and maintained a high level of awareness of economic development issues within New Zealand and how they might affect our region.

"Rodney took up the reigns and ably carried us through a period of uncertainty," she said.

"I'm confident Alan will build on his work to ensure Vision Manawatu leads economic development in Palmerston North and the Manawatu."

The announcement comes after Palmerston North and Manawatu councils announced on Friday that they are reviewing their $2.2 million investment in six economic development groups, including Vision, with a merger of the agencies possible.

Manawatu Standard