Fellowship awarded to council CEO

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The contribution Southland District Council chief executive Steve Ruru has made to his profession and community has been recognised with him being awarded a chartered accountant fellowship.

Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CAANZ) fellowships are awarded annually and Mr Ruru is one of 84 people throughout the country to receive the honour this week.

As well as his council role,which he has held since 2014, Mr Ruru, of Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Ranginui descent, is also a Milford Sound Tourism Ltd director and Te Wananga o Aotearoa council member (te mana whakahaere).

Mr Ruru said he was delighted to receive the fellowship.

“It’s an honour to receive one and it’s a recognition of the contributions you’ve made to different roles over the years.”

He qualified as a chartered accountant in 1985 after completing his bachelor of management studies degree at Waikato University.

Most of his working life had been spent in the public sector.

“I’ve also done a number of governance roles in health, tertiary education and justice sector.

“I haven’t been a frontline accountant for a long time.

“That’s one of the good things [about the profession] – they encourage you to diversify as well, it’s about using those base skills.”

In the last 20 years Mr Ruru had been involved in local government chief executive roles and had enjoyed this work very much.

“It’s been good making a contribution to the local communities you are working for.

“It’s working with them to help achieve the things that are important to those local communities.”

When he was not working, Mr Ruru enjoyed spending time in the outdoors.

“I enjoy tramping and fishing and cycling.”

CAANZ Advocacy & Professional Standing, New Zealand and the Pacific group executive Peter Vial said the fellowships meant a lot to recipients because they are nominated by fellow CAANZ members.

“The latest fellows highlight the important role chartered accountants play in business success and the extensive contributions CAANZ members make to local community organisations, often without charge, and drawing on their professional knowledge and experience,” Mr Vial said.