Central Hawke’s Bay Council’s Director, Darren de Klerk has been named as this year’s recipient of the hotly-contested Taituarā — Local Government Professionals Aotearoa 2021 Emerging Leader of the Year Award.
The Award provides Mr de Klerk (pictured, left) – the Council’s Director of Projects and Programmes – with a fully paid trip to attend the International City Managers’ Association (ICMA) Annual Conference in Oregon in the US. The ICMA is the leading association for local government professionals in the world with more than 11,000 members.
The judges said they were impressed by the scale and significance of the projects that Mr de Klerk had been involved in, including an $80 million investment in Three Waters projects – #bigwaterstory Capital Works Programme.
They also commended his commitment to community engagement, including strengthening relationships with local iwi and nearby councils.
Taituarā Chief Executive, Karen Thomas congratulated Mr de Klerk, saying this year’s Gala Dinner event was extra special after last year’s event was cancelled due to COVID-19.
“The last year was challenging for the local government sector, and there are plenty of challenges ahead,” she said.
“It was wonderful to gather to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible people in the sector.
“I am confident that Darren will continue to contribute as a leader in local government in many forms and for many years to come.”