Dawn Baxendale, Chief Executive, Christchurch City Council
Christchurch City Council chief executive Dawn Baxendale sets high expectations for herself and for her teams.
Dawn moved to Christchurch in September 2019. She is joined by husband Scott and their youngest son, Elliott who is attending St Andrew’s College in the city. Their eldest son, Jacob is completing his physics degree at University in England.
Over 30 years working in local government, Dawn has built a reputation as someone with energy and enthusiasm who works collaboratively with others to get results. She is also known for taking a keen interest in performance (people and finances) of the organisation she leads to deliver for the community.
She has a track record of achieving clear business and commercial outcomes and has led negotiations that have delivered a strong mixed economy to the towns and cities where she has worked.
Her roles have often involved working closely with politicians and political parties and a wide range of administrations and organisations, including the European Union and the World Bank.
She has been at the forefront of public sector reform in Britain, including regeneration, work skills, unemployment, health and social care.
It’s a long way from Huddersfield to Christchurch, New Zealand, a city still dealing with the consequences of the earthquakes, 2019 terror attacks. However, Dawn is unfazed by the challenge ahead. As she puts it: "I am excited by the opportunity and know that we are on a journey that is going to be hard, hard work. Covid-19 has reinforced the need for us all to work together. I genuinely believe that public authorities need to be at the heart of their communities. Local authorities should be leading and influencing the economic, environmental and community legacy that will remain for decades to come.”