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Senior leadership team

The senior leadership team consists of four group managers who are responsible for one out of four departments within Council.

Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer is appointed to manage Council operations and lead Council's senior leadership team. 

Steve Gibling
Chief Executive Officer

Steve grew up in Christchurch where he went on to complete his first tertiary qualification in Community Recreation. Through this study he entered local government in the late 90's as a lifeguard and swim instructor and eventually progressed through to becoming the CEO of the New Zealand Recreation Association based in Wellington in 2010. After the earthquakes he moved back to Christchurch where he worked at Environment Canterbury to be a part of the recovery programme. He has since held roles at the Christchurch City Council and also at the University of Canterbury, completed further study in Human Resource Management and Organisational Psychology and was most recently GM of Leisure and Recreation at Invercargill City Council. 

Outside of work he enjoys hanging out with family, watching his two boys play rugby and mountain biking. He is a keen surfer, cyclist and musician and is really excited to explore what is on offer on the West Coast. 

Buller District Council appointed Steve Gibling as chief executive officer in July.  

Council's departments

Infrastructure Services

The Infrastructure department is responsible for asset management, operation, and implementation of Council operated infrastructure across the district. The department controls all activities associated with roading, water, sewerage, stormwater and solid waste.


Mike was born in New Zealand and raised in the Bay of Plenty before moving to Australia. Having completed tertiary qualifications in engineering, a career in project management followed major infrastructure construction around the world. After gaining senior leadership experience in the private sector, Mike then moved into local government delivering significant asset maintenance, renewal and upgrade programmes in NSW before moving to Buller in 2016. With a passion for organisational development and continuous improvement, Mike brings a wide range of skills, knowledge and strategic thinking to the role of Group Manager.

Community Services

The community services department is responsible for the provision of services at Council facilities such as service centres, libraries and recreation facilities. The management of communication activities, overseeing Council’s properties such as parks, reserves and halls, developing community and economic development strategies and policy falls within the responsibility of this department.


Krissy grew up in Kent, England before moving to New Zealand in 2012. She moved straight to Westport where she settled down with her family. Having worked as branch manager in banking overseas, she quickly slotted into senior services and bank management roles on the West Coast. She brings more than 10-years of leadership experience and a passion for great customer service to her role.

Regulatory Services

Regulatory Services is responsible for the building and planning departments of Council as well as activities relating to compliance such as alcohol licencing and animal control. The department also oversees civil defence activities for our district.


Nathan was in Queensland, Australia, and had a notable career in the Australian private sector and New Zealand's public service.

Before joining Council, he held significant roles at Clutha District Council as Manager of Planning and Regulatory Services and the Department of Conservation, leading regulatory teams across the South Island.

His expertise in regulatory services and town planning is instrumental in steering Buller District Council’s regulatory functions towards new heights of success. His diverse background and commitment to community service align perfectly with council's values and vision.

Commercial and Corporate Services

The Commercial and Corporate Services department is responsible for financial and rating activities, governance and elections, internal IT support and information management. The department also oversees the management of Council operated ventures such as the Westport Port and Airport.


Douglas joined Council in 2022 as the Chief Financial Officer leading the Commercial and Corporate Services department.