Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council have confirmed three key appointments for the Tourism Bay of Plenty (TBOP) board.
The appointments follow the retirement of current Board Chair, Laurissa Cooney, and Trustee Gwendoline Keel, who have both served maximum two terms on the TBOP Board.
TBOP Deputy Chair, Russ Browne, who is reaching the end of his first three-year term, has been appointed Board Chair for three years, to 30 April 2026.
Mr Browne has extensive governance experience as a Director at PKF Tauranga, Chair at Tauhara North Tourism Limited and Chair of TBOP’s Audit and Risk Committee.
Two new board trustees, Janine Tulloch and Peter Blakeway, have also been appointed to the Board for three years to 30 April 2026.
Ms Tulloch has held various governance roles and has a real passion for tourism, most recently holding the position of Director of Tourism Waitaki, the Councils said in a statement today.
Mr Blakeway also has extensive experience in governance roles and is currently the Academic Leader of tourism and hospitality programmes at Te Pukenga – Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology. Last year, Peter was awarded the Supreme Award in recognition of his service to the hospitality industry at the Bay Hospitality Awards.
Tauranga City Council Commission Chair, Anne Tolley says the high-level appointments come at a critical time for the TBOP Board.
“I’m thrilled to welcome in two new board trustees and see Russ Browne move into the position of Chair, to help guide us through this next stage of growth, ensuring visitors continue coming to enjoy our beautiful region,” she said.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the retirement of Chair Laurissa Cooney, and Trustee Gwendoline Keel, and thank them for their dedication and tireless efforts during what has been an exceptionally difficult few years for the tourism sector.”
Western Bay of Plenty District Council Mayor, James Denyer, also thanked the retiring trustees and welcomed the new trustees onboard.
“Laurissa and Gwendoline have provided strong governance for TBOP through the recent tough times and I have every confidence that Russ, our new Chair, will ensure TBOP continues on a successful path,” he said.
“I welcome Janine Tulloch and Peter Blakeway in their new roles and look forward to working with them as part of our wider Council family.”
TBOP is a council-controlled organisation, jointly controlled by Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council, operating within the powers conferred by its Trust Deed.