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Te tōpūtanga

The organisation

Council staff deliver services, facilities and projects following the direction set by councillors.

The direction for staff to follow is outlined mainly in the Council's statutory documents: 

The organisation is divided into seven groups that report to the chief executive.

Marty Grenfell

Phone: 07 577 7000

Marty joined Tauranga City Council in September 2018, after leading Whakatane District Council for seven years. He has over 40 years of public service experience. 

For Marty, local government is all about working alongside and serving the community. He thrives on the challenge of leading and developing teams of dedicated professionals who are committed to delivering improved outcomes for the organisation and the people it serves. In Tauranga, that means creating and facilitating opportunities for residents, businesses and visitors to enjoy and benefit from the special qualities of our city.  
He and the Executive team are committed to creating a high performing organisation that works together with, and understands the community, provides decision-makers with high quality information and provides strong leadership of its people. 
Marty and wife Clare live at the Mount, providing an excellent beach base for their four adult children to enjoy on their visits home, and the perfect place to indulge his love of fishing.

Nic Johansson

Phone: 07 577 7000

Nic is a Chartered Professional Engineer with Engineering New Zealand. Originally from Sweden, Nic spent his early career on civil engineering projects across four continents before moving to New Zealand more than 20 years ago. He spent time in the private sector, working for Fulton Hogan and Downer, and NZTA where he specialised in road safety.
Nic joined the council in July 2019 to lead our Infrastructure group, which looks after the city’s water supply and networks, sustainability and waste, transportation, asset information, and infrastructure delivery. 

In his approach to infrastructure planning, delivery and operation Nic’s focus is on tangata whenua, safety, sustainability, community needs and expectations, and value for money.  

He lives in Tauranga with wife Kate and their two daughters, and enjoys getting out and about on his bike to enjoy the spectacular trails and scenery we have on our doorstep.

Christine Jones

Phone: 07 577 7000

Christine has worked in senior management roles in local government since 2001. Her varied experience covers strategic and corporate planning, growth management, infrastructure, land use and urban planning. 
She has been involved in the SmartGrowth project over many years and has lead responsibility in Tauranga City Council for the integrated planning of our city’s future and growth (including funding, land use and infrastructure). She enjoys tackling the many challenges presented by our rapidly growing city. 

Christine has also had significant involvement in local government sector best practice work through her membership in working parties for the Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) covering (among others) financial management, planning and accountability, and business performance.    

Christine and her husband have two adult children and share an active interest in hot-rod cars.

Paul Davidson

Phone: 07 577 7000

Paul has over 30 years’ experience in finance and industrial relations in both Australia and New Zealand, in both the private and public sectors. He is a fellow with the Australian Society of Certified Practicing Accountants.  

Paul leads the council’s finance, strategic property and commercial teams, including Tauranga Airport and marine precinct. Since joining us in 2006 he has been extensively involved with the long-term planning for the city and looking at new and innovative ways to finance and fund infrastructure. 

He works closely with other growth councils in New Zealand and central government on alternative ways to finance and fund councils to ensure a sustainable model to build cities into the future. He has a strong interest in developing the most appropriate delivery model for infrastructure to ensure issues of housing supply and affordability are addressed, particularly in cities with high growth such as Tauranga.

Paul is also a Civil Defence Local Controller for the Tauranga City.

Paul shifted to Tauranga from Melbourne in 2004 with his wife, and they spend most of their spare time enjoying the Bay of Plenty active lifestyle.

Alistair McNeil

Phone: 07 577 7000

Alastair’s portfolio includes responsibility for the Community Relations, Human Resources, Digital Services and Legal and Risk groups. His management approach focuses on customer-centred service delivery and a culture of agility and openness to change. He encourages his teams to reimagine their roles and seize opportunities to improve their services to clients, while acting as innovation hubs for the benefit of the organisation and the community.

His professional background has included senior government, local government and international corporate roles, including managing corporate services functions for a Fortune 250 company and leading technology firms. Before joining us in 2021, he was the Ministry of Social Development’s Regional Housing Manager for the Bay of Plenty.

Alastair holds Masters (Hons) and Bachelor of Laws degrees and has proven skills in strategic planning and implementation, budgeting, human resources and digital, legal and information resources.

Sarah Omundsen

Phone: 07 577 7000

General Manager: Regulatory and Compliance Sarah Omundsen is responsible for Council’s Building Services, Environmental Planning and Environmental Regulation activities. Since taking up her role in mid-September 2022, Sarah has focused on getting to know her team and the business and on maintaining the Regulatory and Compliance group’s momentum in delivering the services our growing city needs.

Delivering on the commitments set out in the Council’s long-term plan and activity business plans is a core goal and Sarah encourages her team to make good decisions which place a community lens on the legislative requirements that guide their activities.

Sarah previously served as General Manager Regulatory Services and Tauranga Catchments Manager for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, which gave her a considerable working knowledge of Tauranga’s challenges and opportunities. Amongst other achievements, she was responsible for establishing the Mount Maunganui Air Quality Working Party, bringing together councils, government and health agencies, iwi, hapu and industry in a concerted effort to improve air quality in the area.

Sarah, her partner Shaun and their three girls are “pretty connected to the ocean” and spend a lot of their spare time in, on or under the moana.

Gareth Wallis

Phone: 07 577 7000

Gareth has worked in local government in Auckland and Tauranga for more than 20 years in a variety of leadership roles. He came to Tauranga City Council initially from a senior business development role at Auckland Live, New Zealand’s largest performing arts organisation. 

In 2022 Gareth moved from his role as GM: Community Services to head the new City Development and Partnerships Group, which is responsible for one of the largest transformational programmes ever undertaken by a local authority in New Zealand. Gareth is leading the team that will deliver major facilities in our city, including Te Manawataki O Te Papa (Civic Precinct), and the redevelopment of the city’s precious waterfront.

Gareth has a strong focus on relationship building within the community, building successful and engaged teams, and ensuring processes create accountability and transparency in decision making. He is excited about working with our community and partners to transform our city for the future.

He is on the Board of Directors for Bay Venues and the AIMS Games, and has a background in the performing arts, event management, and emergency management, in particular on a practical level as a Fire and Emergency New Zealand volunteer for nearly 20 years. Born and bred in Tauranga, he loves living here with his partner and their two teenage children.

Barbara Dempsey

Phone: 07 577 7000

Barbara has over 20 years’ experience in local government, with 15 years at a general manager level, leading teams in Ruapehu, Opotiki, Whakatane, and Tauranga. She started with Tauranga City Council as GM: Regulatory and Compliance in 2019, before moving into her current role in 2022.

Barbara’s role covers libraries, customer services, call centres, community development, The Historic Village, Baycourt Community and Arts Centre, venues and events, arts and culture, places and spaces, property, and civil defence emergency management.

Barbara has a reputation for building strong, connected teams that have a focus on delivery and are always mindful of the need to engage with our community. While her role manages different teams compared to her previous role at Council, her focus remains the same – working in partnership with the community to make Tauranga an amazing place to live, work, play and visit.

Barbara and her husband moved to Tauranga in early 2019 and love the Tauranga lifestyle.

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