Executive Team

​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​Biographies


Hamish Riach 
Chief Executive

The Chief Executive oversees the operational structure of Ashburton District Council.

About Hamish
Hamish has 18 years’ experience in the local government sector, having held financial and chief executive roles across four district and city councils. He began his local government career at Christchurch City Council, before spending time at Manawatu, Mac​kenzie and Selwyn District Councils, where he was Chief Executive for two years. Hamish has also held several chief executive positions in the private sector, amassing 24 years of experience.

He holds a Bachelor of Business Studies from Massey University and is a member of the Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM).

Email Hamish

Jane Donaldson ​
Group Manager Strategy and Compliance

The Strategy and Compliance Group is responsible for community engagement and the development of strategies, policies, bylaws, and plans for the Ashburton District. It also covers regulatory functions; regulatory compliance (alcohol licensing, animal control, environmental health, and parking) and regulatory services (building regulation, district planning, emergency management, and land information).​

About Jane
Born and raised in Christchurch, Jane attended the University of Canterbury where she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree. Jane has over 30 years’ experience in the local government sector, interspersed with overseas travel and 10 years living in other countries including Thailand, Australia, and the UK.​

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​​Neil McCann
Group Manager Service Delivery

The Service Delivery group manages the district's parks and reserves, cemeteries, water, wastewater, stormwater, waste management, roading, sports facilities, museum, and library. It advises on existing and future needs of public utilities and infrastructure.​

About Neil
Neil has 15 years of local government experience. Neil is a member of IPENZ, with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, and a Master of Business Administration from the Henley Management College (London).

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Paul Brake
Group Manager Business Support

The Business Support group is responsible for community engagement and communications, governance support, policy, finance and billing, all Council buildings and IT systems. These services are provided by the Group’s four teams; Finance, Commercial (Property), Community Relations and Information Systems.

About Paul
Paul has more than 25 years' of local government experience. He holds a degree in Commerce from Canterbury University. Paul is a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA), the Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) and​ the International City Managers Association (ICMA).

Email Paul


​​​Sarah Mosley
People and Capability Manager

Our People & Capability Team are responsible for recruitment, learning & performance, internal policies, benefits, culture, health & safety, wellbeing, measuring performance and developing efficiencies in our business practices.​

About Sarah
Sarah has held human resources roles in both private and public sectors. She graduated from the University of Canterbury with a degree in Commerce(double major), and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration.

Sarah has seen Council's activities and facilities it provides the community increase significantly over the last 10 years in her position.​​

Email Sarah​

Group Manager Community Services​​

Hiring now ​

Role of Executive Team

The Executive Team has a collective responsibility for considering the affordability of Council's services and for identifying efficiencies that can be achieved.  It is also committed to ensuring the organisation is agile and flexible, so that we can change quickly to meet the changing needs of residents and ratepayers.

The role of the Executive Team is:

  1.    To work with elected members in setting the district's vision and direction;  and
  2.    To shape and lead the organisation to deliver on the agreed vision and direction

This will be achieved by bringing together the collective wisdom and diverse talent of the organisation to:

  1. Create the right environment

  2. Prioritise resources

  3. Monitor and influence performance of the district and the organisation

  4. Set parameters for key policies and systems and key projects

  5. Determine responses to critical business issues

  6. Monitor and respond to the political environment

  7. Review and adjust the risk profile

  8. Communicate and profile Leadership Team accountabilities, and engage people in the outcomes

The Executive Team is committed to role modelling the organisation's values and purpose.


Page reviewed: 13 Feb 2020 11:51am