Auckland is one of the most beautiful and culturally diverse cities on the planet. It’s one of the only cities in the world to have two harbours on two separate bodies of water–Manukau Harbour and the Tasman Sea to the west, and Waitemata Harbour and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The city has attracted migrants from all over the globe, and is home to the largest Pacific population in the world. Auckland is frequently listed among the top cities in quality of living surveys.

Auckland Council is the local government organisation responsible for the city of Auckland and the surrounding regions. The council was created five years ago through the amalgamation of eight legacy councils – the biggest corporate merger ever undertaken in New Zealand.

Auckland Council is responsible for rates, building regulations, bylaws, waste management, environmental protection, cultural events, libraries, sporting facilities and much more.

The council’s 8,000 employees work to achieve the vision set out in the Auckland Plan–to make Auckland the world’s most liveable city. The CEO Magazine spoke to CEO of Auckland Council, Stephen Town.

What is your professional background and how do you think it has shaped your perform ance as CEO of Auckland Council?

Stephen: I have been a Chief Executive for 20 years in a number of different organisations, having worked in education, local government and transport in several different cities. The organisations I’ve worked for have helped shape and develop me for my current role.