Vaughan Payne is from the eastern Bay of Plenty tribes of Whakatohea (Mataatua) and Ngai Tai (Tainui), and has been involved in supporting his Iwi in their Treaty claim and resource management issues since the early 90s. This includes preparing one the country's first Iwi resource management plans in 1993 and being establishment chair of the Whakatōhea post-settlement governance entity. He is an experienced senior executive with 13 years experience at Chief Executive level over complex organisations comprising diverse functions and stakeholders. His guiding principle is that no-one can be successful on their own and, therefore, his overriding leadership style is collaborative.
He also strongly believes in wellbeing interdependency. Economic wellbeing relies on community wellbeing, which in turn relies on environmental wellbeing. He has been passionate about improving environmental outcomes since he first experienced water pollution in his early twenties, leading to a career change. It is a privilege to now be in a position to make a real difference and to recognise various interdependencies. His formal education is land-surveying and planning (Otago), and business management (Waikato). He has worked in both the public and private sectors.
Since experiencing river pollution in my early 20s I have focused my career on system changes to improve Treaty and environmental outcomes. Effective system change requires rebalancing: achieving multiple not single outcomes, managing our soft and hard infrastructure together, and aligning both local and central decision making. Ultimately, however, system changes are a leadership issue as we need to take our communities with us. To achieve effective system change and the necessary balance, we need to be inclusive including co-governance decision making. I will use local, regional and national examples to illustrate the long term benefits to Aotearoa of giving effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and collaborative decision making processes.