Experienced local government manager Graeme Fleming has been appointed chief executive officer of the Lake Taupo Protection Trust.
He resigns as general manager of environmental services at Hamilton City Council, where he has worked for nearly 29 years, to take up the role.
Lake Taupo Protection Trust chairman John Kneebone said it was a privilege to welcome a man of such calibre to the new position.
“The trust is charged with the critically and nationally important challenge of protecting water quality in Lake Taupo, which is under serious threat,” he said.
“This is the first time such a large scale water quality protection exercise has been undertaken in New Zealand and it will set a new precedent.
“It is very important that this process is managed successfully and we believe Graeme’s extensive experience in environmental management makes him the ideal man for the job.”
Mr Fleming will manage the operational side of the trust’s work, taking responsibility for implementing its strategic plan, managing staff and liaising with key stakeholders.
The Lake Taupo Protection Trust is charged with managing an $81.5 million fund set up by the government, Environment Waikato and Taupo District Council to protect Lake Taupo’s water quality.
Development and intensification of rural and urban land has increased the amount of nitrogen entering the lake through groundwater and rivers, promoting the growth of algae and phytoplankton.
Over the next 15 years the trust will encourage and assist land use change, purchase land or nitrogen in the Taupo catchment and fund research and other initiatives that assist land owners to reduce the nitrogen impact of their activities on Lake Taupo.