After nearly six years in the role, Trust Tairāwhiti founding CEO, Gavin Murphy, is stepping down from his role, effective July 2023, says Trust chair John Clarke.

“After guiding the Trust through the amalgamation of the Trust to include the Economic Development Agency and Regional Tourism Organisation, the rebrand to Trust Tairāwhiti and the development of the wellbeing framework - He Rangitapu He Tohu ora, then leading the organisation through the global pandemic, the Eastland Network sale which settled earlier this year, and most recently the Cyclone Gabrielle initial response, Gavin is stepping down to spend more time with his teenage family.

“The Trust would like to acknowledge and thank Gavin for his huge contribution to the Trust over the last six years.  His energy, leadership and commitment to the Trust has seen it grow into a key regional entity and he leaves the Trust in significantly stronger financial shape,” Mr Clarke says. 

“I reflect on a full-on time over the last 6 years and I’m very privileged to be part of the team who worked to bring all this together and grow the role of the Trust into what is for its beneficiaries and our community today,” Mr Murphy says.

“I was also proud of the work to develop and mature the role of the Trust as the sole shareholder of Eastland Group, including navigating the sale of the Network company.  This will set up a legacy for the Trust, for the benefit of beneficiaries, for many years to come. 

“I would like to thank the team at the Trust for supporting me and doing what they do best, as well as Trustees and the Trust’s cultural advisors Ta Derek Lardelli and Lady Rose, who all guided and supported me in the role.  The whole team at the Trust were a great group to work with, they are there because they care deeply about our region and our people,” Mr Murphy says.

“There is so much more to do and the Trust resources available to support this community are in better shape than ever. This is a demanding role and having someone new at the helm to bring their energy and ideas in support of the Trust and nga hapori o Te Tairāwhiti is a great opportunity for the Trust.

“I wish the team at the Trust, current and future Trustees all the best with the next stage of the Trust’s journey.”

The Trust’s General Manager Economic Development Richard Searle will be Acting CEO while the Trust board undertakes its recruitment process.