Rachel Reese

Mayor, Nelson, New Zealand

New Zealand

Rachel Reese is the first female Mayor of the City of Nelson, the largest urban center in the top of the south island of New Zealand. Previously, Rachel served on the Nelson City Council for six years, including three as a councillor and three as deputy mayor. She was elected to the National Council of Local Government New Zealand in 2016.

Rachel is Deputy of the Regional Sector and has a lead role in Central Government engagement on Climate Change, Natural Hazards and Resiliency, Biodiversity and Resource Management Act matters. Rachel’s Central Government appointments have included the RMA Principles Technical Advisory Group, Rules Reduction Taskforce, Environmental Legal Assistance Panel and Making Good Decisions Advisory Panel. Rachel is an accredited Resource Management Commissioner (Chair) and a member of Resource Management Law Association. She is a qualified Mediator and Arbitrator.

Rachel holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Otago University and a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies (Dispute Resolution) from Massey University. She is a Trustee of the Cawthron Institute, New Zealand’s largest Independent Science Organization. She is a Justice of the Peace and member of Rotary having been awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship. Rachel is recognized as a trusted and empathetic leader who builds relationships with people from diverse backgrounds, especially the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand and refugee settlement populations.

She was selected as a Fellow for the 2019-2020 VV Engage Cohort.