SWDC appoints Susan Law as Chief Executive
Released: Tuesday 5 April 2022
South Waikato District Council (SWDC) is very pleased to announce Susan Law as our new Chief Executive.
Susan has extensive experience leading large public sector organisations in both New Zealand and abroad.
Susan joins SWDC from Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council in Australia. Susan has made the decision to come home to New Zealand after more than 20 years abroad in Australia, the UK and South Africa.
Born in the Lower Hutt, Wellington, Susan trained as a lawyer. While she enjoyed the degree, she didn’t particularly enjoy practicing law so only stayed in the profession a few years.
She moved into the Government sector working for Housing New Zealand first and then HealthCare Otago, before moving to Australia when she made the shift to the local government sector. She led City of Charles Sturt and Adelaide City Council before moving on to a secondment in Cape Town, South Africa as World Bank Advisor to the city’s Mayor. Susan next headed to the UK, staying in the public service sector, firstly leading Doncaster METRO Borough Council and then Wokingham Borough Council.
Susan then headed back to Australia where she started a consultancy assisting councils undergoing amalgamations with developing strategy, outcomes and planning.
Susan’s passion for local government led her back into the sector directly, working first for Armidale Regional Council and then on to her current role with Northern Peninsula.
“I believe that people get to do great things in the local government sector,” said Susan. “I am very much looking forward to getting back to New Zealand and helping position the South Waikato District in the best place for the future and to navigate through all the reform processes facing the sector.
“I am looking forward to getting to know the community, Council staff and Elected Members.”
Mayor Jenny Shattock is very pleased with the appointment, saying “Susan’s passion for managing change and connecting with people are ideal strengthens for the challenges and opportunities facing our Council and the South Waikato community.
“Several of Susan’s referees used the words ‘motivational’ and ‘inspirational’ when we got to that stage of the process,” continued Mayor Jenny.
Susan is married to New Plymouth born now-retired auditor Stuart Jamieson and they share one daughter, who lives in Canberra, Australia, where she works as a lawyer.
Susan and Stuart had started looking at opportunities to return home to New Zealand. When Susan saw this role advertised, she leapt at the chance to come home, lead a local authority through a changing landscape and help build a community’s future.
Susan will be starting with SWDC in early June.
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