Business View Magazine | June 2020

85 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE JUNE 2020 administration centre. Situated on the mouth of the mighty Buller Kawatiri River, it is home to around 7,000 residents and features a commercial port, and an airport with regular flights to and from the capital city of Wellington. Gold was discovered in the Buller River in the late 1850s, signalling the start of the gold rush and the establishment of the town. The hunt for gold eventually gave way to the hunt for coal, a dominant industry force today, although the focus on major industry has shifted in recent years. While Bathurst Resources Ltd is one of the largest employers in the community, a lot more drive is being put towards domestic tourism, agriculture and horticulture. Sharon Mason was appointed as Buller District Council Chief Executive in November 2018 and brings 12 years of senior executive and management experience from the health and public sector environment to the role. Most recently as Executive Director of Provider Services for Hawkes Bay District Health Board, Director of Operations at Southern District Health Board and Executive General Manager with the North West Area Health Service in Tasmania. In each position, Mason had overall responsibility for health service delivery across multiple disciplines covering over 4000 staff and managing budgets in excess of $250 million. All have been based in rural regions, so she understands the complexities and challenges of rural regional strategy and service delivery. Mason explains, “I’ve spent nearly 20 years in executive roles within the health system but I’d never considered local government before. Then, an advert from Buller District Council caught my eye because it was looking for a Chief Executive that a community could be proud of. So, after speaking with the interim Chief Executive who was in charge of recruitment, and asking him if they really meant that (because it seemed too good to be true), I applied and was fortunate to get the role. Leadership skills are easily transferrable and what I brought was many years of experience and a different way of working. The Council had been through quite a lot of turmoil and lacked stability and leadership, so I brought a discreet BULLER DI STR I CT COUNC I L , NZ