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Hawkins EGM, new Chair of NZ Green Building Council

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The head of New Zealand’s second biggest construction company, Hawkins, has been elected as the new Chair of the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC), one of the most influential positions in the country’s building industry.

Gary Walker, the executive general manager of Hawkins, was voted in as Chair last night. After the vote, the board and leadership team of the NZGBC toasted the new appointment during a celebratory sustainable supper at trendy downtown Auckland restaurant Amano, and thanked the outgoing chair, Mary Jane Daly.

Known throughout the sector for his approachable, informal style, Gary has worked on major international construction projects in New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Europe and Africa. Hailing originally from Scotland, he has over 30 years’ experience in the industry and is passionate about the sustainability of people and places. He lives with his family by the sea in St Heliers.

Speaking after the board meeting, Gary said: “It’s a very exciting and important time for the New Zealand building industry. We’re facing a lot of challenges, and some great opportunities too.

“We have an opportunity now to create homes and workplaces that put people at their heart. New Zealanders should be living in dry, warm homes and working in efficient, productive, safe buildings. That’s the vision of the New Zealand Green Building Council, and I’m looking forward to doing all I can to help realise it.

“I’d like to thank Mary-Jane Daly for her great work as the previous Chair of the NZGBC. The NZGBC is in fine shape. For instance, we’ve seen a ten-fold increase in the number of green homes in just two years. We’ll continue to work with the industry to make better buildings for all New Zealanders.”

The NZGBC works to ensure that all New Zealanders live, work and play in safe, warm, dry, healthy and efficient buildings. Besides Gary, the other board members are: Mary-Jane Daly, Independent Director of Kiwi Property Group Limited, Airways Corporation of New Zealand, and a Commissioner on the Earthquake Commission; Gail Calder, General Manager, Property and Facilities at Fonterra; Patrick Clifford of Architectus Auckland; Steve Aschebrock, Director and Joint Owner of Inzide Commercial; Brendon Dwyer, Operations Manager - Building Services at Beca; Anna Palairet, General Manager of Property and Infrastructure at Air New Zealand; and, Robyn Phipps, Director of Construction programmes and Cluster Leader of the Built Environment staff at Massey University.