Property Council New Zealand is pleased to announce that Leonie Freeman has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer, effective from early December 2018.
“We’re delighted that after an extensive search, both nationally and internationally, we’ve found someone of Leonie’s calibre and expertise” says Property Council New Zealand National President, John Dakin.
“Leonie has a unique breadth of insight into New Zealand property. Her deep knowledge of both the commercial and residential sectors stand her in good stead to champion the industry and work constructively with central and local government.”
“Strong leadership is what New Zealand’s property industry needs at this point. As someone who has held top positions on both sides of the public and private divide she has a unique perspective and overview of the issues and challenges facing our industry,” he says.
Ms. Freeman says “commercial and residential property affects all of our lives. Here in New Zealand, there are some big issues facing our property industry. Solving them for the good of all of us will require coordinated leadership and vision. I’m excited to be able to lead Property Council at this critical time to help increase New Zealand’s prosperity.
Ms. Freeman has extensive experience in the New Zealand property industry, having held top positions in both the public and private sector. In 1996, she created the concept of what is now realestate.co.nz, one of the first major commercial websites launched in New Zealand. Leonie bought and transformed her own residential property management business in 2000, before becoming a strategic property advisor during the establishment of the new Auckland Council, and going on to be General Manager of Asset Development for Housing New Zealand.
In 2011, Leonie was appointed to the board of NZX listed company Goodman Property Trust, and recently she has dedicated her time to leading an independent philanthropic initiative to solve Auckland’s housing crisis; launching thehomepage.nz and hosting the Auckland Housing Forum earlier this year.
Leonie holds a Master of Commerce, majoring in valuation and property management and is a life member of the Property Institute of New Zealand, a chartered member of the Institute of Directors, and a member of Global Women. In 2017 she was awarded the Property Institute’s Supreme Property Award, the Property Council Auckland Property People Judges Choice Award, and was a finalist in the Westpac Women of Influence Awards.
Ms Freeman replaces current Chief Executive, Connal Townsend, who will officially retire on 31 December 2018 after serving as Property Council’s CEO for almost 15 years.