Wellington Scoop

Another ex-mayor taking over from Kerry Prendergast as EPA chair

BusinessDesk report by Gavin Evans
Lawyer Julie Hardaker is the new chair of the Environmental Protection Authority. Hardaker, a two-term Mayor of Hamilton until 2016, is replacing former Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast who has chaired the EPA since its inception in 2011. Her three-year appointment is effective from Aug. 1.

Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage said Hardaker brings experience of central and local government processes and of public and employment law to the role. She has also been recognised for her service to Māori and has a strong interest in environmental issues and protection, Sage said in a statement.

The EPA regulates hazardous substances and new organisms and also operates the emissions register for the Emissions Trading Scheme. It regulates activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone and also provides administrative support for decisions on major projects there and major infrastructure projects on land under the Resource Management Act.

Sage today also named Steven Wilson as the deputy chair of the EPA, replacing Kevin Thompson who has held the role since 2012. Wilson is currently deputy chair of Ngā Kaihautū Tikanga Taiao, the authority’s Maori statutory advisory committee. He steps down from that role this month.

Sage also appointed to the EPA board emissions consultant Gerda Kuschel and Jeroen Douwes, director of Massey University’s Centre for Public Health Research. They replace Kura Denness and Geoff Thompson and will also serve three-year terms from August.

The remaining EPA board members are Dayle Hunia, Tim Lusk, Gillian Wratt and Nicki Crauford.