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Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency names new chair and board member

Experienced businesswoman and professional director Tracey Bridges has been named as the new chair of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA).


A proud Wellingtonian who has lived and worked in the region for 27 years, Tracey is a professional director with experience leading and growing private businesses from start-up.

A founding partner of trans-Tasman communications heavyweight SenateSHJ, she is currently a director and co-founder of The Good Registry, a social enterprise helping people translate their gift spending into donations to good causes.

She is also a member of the Institute of Directors and Global Women, and a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand. She also serves on the Boards of the Wellington Regional Stadium Trust, the Digital Media Trust and Stand Children’s Services – Tu Maia Whanau.

Tracey was first appointed to the Board in December 2017. She takes over from Peter Biggs, who is stepping down from the role after leading the Board since WREDA’s inception in 2014.

After a year working with fellow Board members, Tracey says she is excited to be taking up the mantle of chair and working towards helping the Wellington region grow and prosper even further.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be asked to chair the WREDA Board. I love this region, and I’m proud to contribute to the work that WREDA does to make our region wildly famous.”

In a second new appointment, former politician and university Vice Chancellor Steve Maharey will join the Board.

Mr Maharey has had a long and varied career, with time spent as both a City Councillor and a Member of Parliament and senior Cabinet Minister. He was Vice-Chancellor of Massey University for eight years between 2008 and 2016.

Alongside these two appointments, Directors Thomas Pippos, Dave Gibson and Grant Guilford were reappointed to the Board.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester and Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair Chris Laidlaw both welcomed the appointment of Tracey as WREDA Chair.

Mayor Lester described the appointment as a strong one and he was confident WREDA was well-placed to continue its good work.

“Tracey is well regarded, highly respected by her peers and has strong leadership qualities. I think she’ll do a fantastic job.”

Cr Laidlaw noted that Greater Wellington was very happy with both appointments.

“Tracey and Steve are experienced, very well connected and have a good feel for the challenge that WREDA presents. I’m confident they will make a very positive difference toWREDA’s work and that Tracey will be a strong and effective chair.”

WREDA markets Wellington as a destination for visitors, migrants and investors. It helps businesses grow and innovate, advocates for Wellington’s economy and attracts and promotes major events and run civic venues. It receives funding from Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, central government and other third parties.

About Tracey Bridges

Tracey Bridges. Photo: RNZ / Lynda Chanwai-Earle

A respected professional director with experience leading and growing private businesses from start-up, Tracey is an expert in strategy, risk and reputation management and behavior change. Her work in communication and social marketing over more than 25 years means she is customer-focused and is known for her clarity of thinking and problem-solving capability. She and her partner Gary Scott live in Island Bay. They have two teenage children.

About Steve Maharey

Steve Maharey. Photo: RNZ

A strategic thinker with a proven track record of leadership and management, Steve is a strong communicator. With a range of experience including as a City Councillor, Member of Parliament and Senior Cabinet Minister, Steve also served as Vice-Chancellor of Massey University from 2008 to 2016. Most recently he has worked across a portfolio of governance roles.

The remaining directors on the WREDA Board are:
* Thomas Pippos
* Grant Guilford
* Dave Gibson
* Matt Clarke
* Wayne Mulligan
* Kylie Archer