The addition of a senior communications advisor to the Council's community relations team will provide real benefits for both the Council and the community.
Nyia Strachan will join the Council next week, completing a full circle having worked in the district as a senior journalist with the Ashburton Guardian some years ago.
Ms Strachan has a strong background in communications having previously held similar roles with the Southern District Health Board, Tourism Dunedin and the Department of Conservation.
Council community relations manager Gavin Thomas says he is looking forward to Ms Strachan being a valuable addition to the team.
"Apart from her skills and professionalism Nyia really impressed us through the recruitment process with her enthusiasm and keenness to really make a difference in the community."
Ms Strachan recently moved back to the district with her partner, Guardian editor Stu Oldham, and their 5-year-old daughter.
Mr Thomas says the timing of the appointment couldn't be better.
"We have a number changes to our communications mix in the pipeline and several big projects we need to keep residents informed about so Nyia will have the chance to put her stamp on these before they go live."
The senior communications advisor position has replaced a part time fixed term position in the Council's communications team.
"We have been progressively increasing our capacity in this area as we look to provide the level of communications expected from a modern council serving a growing and changing community," says Mr Thomas.