Announcing the new WHI CEO

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After a long search, the Waikato Housing Initiative (WHI) is pleased to announce the addition of Aksel Bech to the team as our new Chief Executive Officer. Aksel brings with him a myriad of skills cultivated during his time involved in the corporate and local government sectors.

Aksel’s previous position as a Deputy Mayor and Councillor for the Waikato District Council has provided him the opportunity to be involved with the Waikato Plan leadership, which gave birth to the WHI.

The working relationships that he has grown and developed across the region and country will significantly benefit the next steps of the WHI’s journey. Moving forward, this experience will be invaluable to the WHI to progress its vision of: “every person and every family in the Waikato region is well-housed and living in sustainable, flourishing and connected communities.”

Aksel has put together a personal introduction below:

My Background

After many years involved in the corporate and government sectors, I am excited to embark on this new role within this group of passionate leaders who have a vision to change the current status quo of housing across the region.

My leadership roles in entities such as Futureproof, have given me insight to the growth aspirations for the region and priority development areas for growing sustainable communities.

I have always strived to represent a strong community that can stand tall with the right skills and education. Forming strong relationships based on trust and integrity has been a hallmark of my career to date. My formal qualifications include a B.Sc. in Microbiology and Psychology and an M.Soc.Sci. in Industrial and Organisational Psychology - a focus on people.

Myself and my wife Susan have made our home in the Waikato for the past two decades and I am one of the former owners of NDA Engineering Ltd, the largest stainless-steel fabricator in the Southern Hemisphere and a still a major exporter of vessels, tanks and equipment to dairy, wine, pharmaceutical and petrochemical clients around the world.

As a long-time supporter of the WHI, I am looking forward to seeing affordable housing delivered through the implementation of changes for the future, including;

  • Development of key players
  • Development of policies,
  • Strengthened local government support
  • Strengthened central government support
  • Funding mechanisms established

I will continue the work of Lui Brame who was the original author of the Stocktake report and worked as our interim CEO. On behalf of WHI, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lui for his significant contribution to our journey and leadership to date.

Looking Forward

Early in 2023, I will be doing the rounds meeting the key players in the Waikato housing ecosystem to better understand their changing needs, and to continue to develop a strongly aligned and supported message across the housing continuum.

Our focus on improving the system and framework for enabling integrated affordable housing is critical to supporting our community and member projects.

Please feel free to reach out to myself and the Waikato Housing Initiative team on aksel@waikatohousinginitiative.org

Waikato Housing Initiative


Perry House, 360 Tristram Street, Hamilton