A regional economic development expert with nearly 30 years’ experience focusing on Auckland and the Waikato, Harvey has held senior and executive roles in local and central government and regional development organisations
Harvey brings a strong inter-disciplinary and outcomes-based approach, and a proven track record of working with stakeholders and partners to develop enduring solutions to complex problems and opportunities. His approach blends together a unique combination of strategic thinking, applied science, performance excellence, public policy and industry development.
Since late 2015 Harvey’s main focus has been economic development in the Waikato, and he is now based in Hamilton. In 2015 he led the region’s economic development programme, and oversaw the design, funding and establishment of Te Waka – the region’s first economic development agency (EDA).
As the Chief Operating Officer for Te Waka, Harvey led a range of major projects, including the Southern Waikato Economic Action Plan, work on a cultural tourism cluster, and various industry development initiatives across the region.
Before joining Te Waka, Harvey’s work focused on Auckland, including roles in both central and local government:
In 2001, after playing a major role in the planning and execution of the 2000 Americas Cup, he became the Auckland Regional Council’s Executive Manager of organisational strategy and excellence. In 2004–05 he oversaw the establishing of Auckland Regional Holdings, the Auckland Regional Transport Authority and Auckland Plus – predecessors of three of the current Auckland CCOs.
In 2008 Harvey became the Auckland Policy Manager for the Ministry of Economic Development. As part of the Auckland governance reform he facilitated Cabinet approval for a waterfront development agency, oversaw the acquisition of Queen’s Wharf from Ports of Auckland, and project-managed the highly successful public opening and redevelopment of the wharf, including the Cloud event venue, in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
In late 2010 Harvey became Auckland Council’s first Economic Development Manager. He developed the Auckland Economic Development Strategy and the economic development components of the Auckland Plan. He also managed nearly 50 Business Improvement Districts and 17 international partner city arrangements, including the world’s first tripartite city-to-city agreement, and established the first city-specific Chief Economist’s role in New Zealand.
In 2014 Harvey established his own consulting company – his clients included Auckland Council, the Eden Park Trust Board, the Tāmaki Redevelopment Company, ATEED, NZIER, MBIE, the University of Auckland, Unitec and the Waikato Regional Council.
Originally a coastal geomorphologist by training, Harvey also had a key role in policy and planning frameworks at national, regional and local levels, especially in the area of coastal, hazards and environmental management.
Harvey has an MA (First Degree Hons) in Geography from the University of Auckland.