Chief Financial Officer Paul Hope has been appointed as the new director for North Otago Irrigation Company (NOIC), replacing former Chief Executive Michael Ross.
The appointment of Mr Hope follows the departure of Mr Ross whose tenure as director will end on
31 December 2017.
Mayor Gary Kircher says Mr Hope’s credentials hold him in good stead to take on the directorship responsibilities and oversee Council’s investment, whilst adding positive skills to the NOIC board.
“Mr Hope has skills and expertise in contract reconciliation, executive-level financial management and analysis,” says Mr Kircher. “These alone are significant attributes but Mr Hope is also familiar with NOIC’s current processes and this will go a long way to adding value around the Board table.”
In 2005 Council agreed to loan $10 million to help NOIC create the first phase of the irrigation scheme which saw 10,000 hectares of land come under the scheme. In 2015 the outstanding amount was repaid, and Council agreed to help fund the extension of the irrigation scheme (another 10,000 hectares) with a new loan of $17 million.
"That loan has been earning Waitaki ratepayers an interest rate higher than that being paid by the banks, and has the added benefit of investing in Waitaki's own future."
“Council has made a significant investment in NOIC and we have had a director on the Board since then. It’s appropriate to continue the relationship and Mr Hope is the ideal person to take up this role at the beginning of 2018.”
Mr Hope’s NOIC appointment is for an initial ten months until 31 October 2018 with a review to take place before the end of October. That term brings the appointment into line with the date for NOIC's Annual General Meeting and their director appointment process.
“I congratulate Mr Hope on his appointment and am confident his skills and expertise will continue to be valuable for Council and our ratepayers.”