Executive leadership team

Management structure

Councillors appoint a Chief Executive to lead the organisation.  Malcolm Nicolson is the Northland Regional Council Chief Executive.  Council services are led by an Executive Leadership Team that operates the following business units:

  • Tumuaki | Chief Executive Officer - Malcolm Nicolson
  • Te Roopu Tiaki Hapori | Group Community Resilience  - led by Victoria Harwood
  • Te Roopu Taumatua | Group Manager Corporate Services - led by Bruce Howse
  • Te Roopu Manawhakahaere | Group Governance and Engagement - led by Auriole Ruka
  • Te Roopu Tiaki Taiao | Environmental Services Group - led by Jonathan Gibbard/Ruben Wylie
  • Te Roopu Whakaritenga | Group Regulatory Services - led by Colin Dall
  • Te Roopu Tiaki Pūtaiao | Group Biosecurity - led by Don McKenzie

Meet the team

Learn more about our Chief Executive and the Executive Leadership Team.

Malcolm Nicolson

Tumuaki – CEO

Born and raised on a farm in the small rural community of Warmbaths in South Africa, Malcolm emigrated to New Zealand with his family in 1996. They became New Zealand citizens in the Whare Runanga on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds on 1 January, 2000 in a special millennial ceremony.

Malcolm and Theresa have two children, and three grandchildren that are a source of great joy.

Strong family values and the quality of their home life are important to Malcolm and Theresa. They also place great importance on supporting and serving their community and this is reflected in their chosen careers.

Malcolm says, “I feel very fortunate that my role at the regional council allows me to contribute to the development of Northland. My wife, a qualified geneticist, retrained as a teacher for disabled children and now heads the Special Needs Department at Okaihau College.”

Malcolm and Theresa live at Hawkhill, near Kawakawa in the Bay of Islands area. They are preserving and conserving approximately two thirds of the 152 hectare farm, with a view to developing an ecotourism venture as a retirement project.

Colin Dall

Pou Whakaritenga – Group Manager Regulatory Services

Colin has more than 30 years' experience in resource management and working at senior management roles. He has worked at the West Coast, Otago and Northland Regional Councils.

Colin has a BSc in Chemistry, Diploma of Agricultural Science and Master of Applied Science in Environmental Microbiology (essentially specialising in water quality).

He has appeared as an expert witness before both Environment and High Court judges, giving evidence in relation to resource consent applications and planning and enforcement matters, including prosecutions.

Colin also appeared before the Pike River Royal Commission to explain local government's role in the regulation of the mine.

He oversees the Regulatory Services group which includes coastal and industrial compliance; consents and compliance monitoring.

Jonathan Gibbard

Pou Tiaki Taiao – Group Manager Environmental Services

Jonathan's background is in RMA Planning, with a Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning. His early roles at NRC saw him work on all council RMA planning documents including the development of the Regional Policy Statement.

The Environmental Services team provides work programmes for the Northland region specifically for natural resources monitoring; natural resource management; biodiversity; land management; policy and planning. 

Bruce Howse

Pou Taumatua – Group Manager Corporate Services

Bruce has worked in a range of management positions and roles at the regional council and enjoys working for and with the people of Northland to achieve positive outcomes for the region.

Bruce's team includes corporate strategy; finance; information services and technology, strategic projects and facilities health and safety; and human resources.

Auriole Ruka (Ngapuhi, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Maniapoto) 

Pou Manawhakahaere – Group Manager Governance and Engagement

Auriole is the Group Manager of Governance and Engagement, which includes: community engagement, customer services, governance, economics and Māori engagement. Her leadership experience is extensive, with a strong focus on furthering Maori economic and cultural development in Te Tai Tokerau. Auriole is actively engaged in creating healthy and thriving communities for future generations and is passionate about building relationships between diverse groups and networks that make up our region.

Don Mckenzie

Pou Tiaki Pūtaiao – Group Manager Biosecurity

Don manages the Biosecurity group which includes the following teams: biosecurity partnerships; pest plants; marine biosecurity; pest animals and incursions; kauri protection and the Predator Free 2050 project.

Victoria Harwood

Pou Tiaki Hapori – Group Manager Community Resilience

Victoria emigrated to New Zealand in 2007 with her family and moved straight to Whangārei.

For the last 12 years, Victoria has worked in Emergency Management, both as a full-time employee at NRC and in her own time as a volunteer for the NZ Red Cross. Victoria worked for the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group (CDEM) for 10 years as the lead for the Whangarei District Council emergency management arrangements, reduction of hazards, preparedness of the council and community, response to emergencies and recovery arrangements.

Victoria also held the position of Deputy Emergency Manager in the Northland CDEM Group and has had many leadership roles during emergencies for the NZ Red Cross including the Canterbury and Kaikoura earthquakes, Edgecumbe and Whanganui floods and with CDEM regional and local emergencies including drought, storms, floods and tsunami warnings.

She is an appointed Emergency Management Group Controller for the Northland CDEM Group and has a Bachelor's degree in Applied Information Systems and a Post Graduate Diploma in Emergency Management.

Victoria is passionate about community resilience and works to create positive outcomes for Northland communities.

Victoria is the Group Manager of Community Resilience which includes the following teams: emergency management; rivers and natural hazards, maritime, climate change, area offices in Ōpua and Kaitaia and linked into the Northland Transportation Alliance (NTA) through the public transport provision of the NRC.

Beryl Steele

Human Resources Manager

Beryl was born in Northland and has spent most of her life here. She is passionate about seeing it prosper and having the healthy natural environment we are all striving for.

She has had a range of roles from administration through to General Manager, mostly in the private sector. Beryl has more than 20 years experience in senior management positions and over 10 years on senior management teams.

To complement her experience, she has diplomas in Business, Small Business, HR and a degree in Business.

Beryl’s team covers Human Resources, Health and Safety and training.

Contact information

To contact any of our executive team, send an email to [email protected] or freephone 0800 002 004.