Auckland Council has appointed Paul Connell, Cassandra Crowley and Martin Matthews as independent members to its Audit and Risk Committee.
The council sought external members with a background in audit and familiarity with strategic risk, with external credibility and networks in the New Zealand audit and risk community.
The Audit and Risk Committee assists and advises the Governing Body in discharging its responsibilities and ownership of governance, risk management, and internal control, and its scope includes oversight of risk management and assurance across the council and the council’s council-controlled organisations (CCO’s).
The inclusion of external members on the committee, with one of the external members appointed as chair, is best practice.
The appointments were made by the Governing Body in September, and the new members can now take up their role following the finalisation of the committee structure for the new electoral term. The committee’s first meeting is on 12 December 2022.
Paul Connell has been appointed as chair designate until 1 October 2023, and as chair from 1 October 2023.
In addition to the new appointments, Bruce Robertson, an existing member of the Audit and Risk Committee, has been extended on the committee until 30 September 2023, and will be the independent chair for that period.
The independent members join Councillors Lotu Fuli (the committee’s deputy chair), Julie Fairey, Christine Fletcher and Shane Henderson, on the Audit and Risk Committee. The mayor and deputy mayor, and Independent Māori Statutory Board member Tony Kake, are ex officio members and the committee meets quarterly.
About Paul Connell
Paul is an experienced board chair and director with extensive commercial, governance, and financial experience, including 22 years as a professional director of listed and private companies, community-owned organisations, local government, and Crown entities.
Paul is a Chartered Accountant Fellow (FCA) with broad experience as an Audit and Risk Committee member and chair. He has led the development of risk management governance processes at several organisations.
He was a facilitator for the Institute of Director’s Director Education programme for a number of years and has extensive experience on publicly accountable boards.
About Cassandra Crowley
Cassandra has professional accreditations as an FCA, barrister, and solicitor, and is the recent recipient of a number of governance awards.
Cassandra has worked in both central and local government and currently holds a broad governance portfolio with roles spanning the public and private sectors. Her governance roles reflect a whāinga (goal) of contributing to Aotearoa's social and cultural development. Cassandra’s portfolio includes transport, environment, services and iwi organisations amongst others.
About Martin Matthews
Martin is a former Transport Secretary who provides advice on public policy, regulatory and organisation practices. He has more than 18 years of experience in the public sector; as a board member, CEO and former Auditor-General. He has worked closely with Auckland Council and on Auckland issues in these capacities.
Martin is an experienced governor and has chaired numerous government bodies and committees, with a focus on finance, audit, and risk areas.
He chairs the Audit and Risk Committee’s for both the MetService and Experience Wellington, of which he is currently a board member. He has been for the last three years the Independent Chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Audit and Risk Committee. He has also previously been a member or chair of the finance, risk, and audit committees for Waka Kotahi (NZTA), Customs, the Leadership Development Centre and the Inland Revenue Department.