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[Media Release - MFEM] New Director - Economic Planning Division Dr. Willem Ysbrand Borren (Pim)

3 Feburary 2021

Introducing our new Director for Economic Planning Division, Dr. Willem Ysbrand Borren (Pim).

Pim has a comprehensive background in economics and is well suited for the role. He has a Ph.D. in economics and has worked as a professional economist for much of his life, most recently as the Principal Economist at the Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) based in Wellington, NZ. He was also a senior manager and CEO across local and central government organizations and agencies in NZ and Australia. His initial career was working as a health economist but in more recent years has specialized in economic development across the four well-beings (economic growth, social development, cultural development, environmental development).

His most recent role was CEO of the Bus & Coach Association/Rental Vehicle Association, where he focused on tourism and particularly the impact of COVID-19 on the tour coach industry and the rental vehicle industry. The lack of inbound tourists has decimated both.

Pim has also worked closely with a range of NZ government ministries and ministers on a daily basis. He is an experienced economist and sector leader, primarily through his connections with NZ Treasury and Tourism NZ and his local government experience. He is also very familiar with NZ’s focus on tourism in response to COVID-19. He has recently worked closely with the Chair of NZ’s Tourism Futures Taskforce, Hon Steve Chadwick (Mayor of Rotorua).

Pim has a solid background in tertiary education and was CEO for six years of NZ’s leading bicultural institute of technology at that time (Waiariki Institute of Technology, Rotorua). He gained a good understanding and empathy with indigenous and other cultures and has worked with and for local iwi and hapu leaders positively and constructively.

“It is wonderful being here in the Cook Islands which is a paradise. I have been extremely impressed with what I have seen so far at MFEM and I am looking forward to supporting the team to assist the Government through its economic recovery programme. Rebuilding the economy will be a huge challenge and we will need to work closely with local communities and local businesses to enable a full recovery and to get back to our pre-covid economy and a sustainable future for the country. I look forward to supporting that objective”. – Pim Borren

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