Council appoints new Chief Operating Officer

18 February 2020

Wellington City Council has announced the appointment of Claire Richardson as Chief Operating Officer, filling the position which will be vacated by Barbara McKerrow when she moves into the Chief Executive role on 1st March.

Image of new COO Claire Richardson

Ms Richardson joins the organisation from the Ministry for the Environment, where she is currently Chief Operating Officer, responsible for all corporate, customer service and organisational performance functions of MfE.

She is no stranger to local government, having previously been part of the senior leadership team at Auckland Council where she held a number of roles, including leading the Deputy Mayor’s office. As an Executive Officer working alongside the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive, she played a significant role leading health, safety and wellbeing across Auckland Council and was instrumental in the innovation and delivery of the Digital Auckland Plan.

Her career to date has been both rich and varied, and also includes senior roles with international NGOs and on some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, during her 12 years working in the film and television industry.

Acting Chief Executive Barbara McKerrow says: “This is an exciting appointment for Wellington and we look forward to Claire starting work with us in May. She has very strong leadership, governance, and risk management experience from a broad range of sectors and is particularly passionate about promoting diversity in the workplace.”

Ms Richardson is looking forward to the new challenge. “I am excited by the opportunity to work with dedicated people delivering important services for our city and communities,” she explains. “I look forward to being part of Barbara's team and Council as it strives to achieve its goals for Wellington as a connected, dynamic, people-focused, Eco City.”