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About Us
 Leigh Auton  

Leigh Auton – Director

Career resume available by request

Leigh is the founder of Auton & Associates Ltd. He works with a broad range of clients in both the public and private sectors. He primarily assists clients in the areas of governance, strategic thinking and environmental management.

Leigh has had an extensive career in local government, which spanned more than 30 years, and was appointed Chief Executive of Manukau City Council in October 2005. He assumed the position in April 2006. This position was disestablished on October 31st 2010, following the formation of the new Auckland Council.

Leigh was appointed Interim CEO at Tauranga City Council in June 2012. He led a Council restructure programme, and assisted with the appointment of the new Chief Executive. This appointment concluded in April 2013.  

Leigh holds several Board positions including Chair of the Ngapuhi Asset Holding Company (NAHC) and its subsidiaries, and Chair of Northland Deepwater GP Ltd. He will retire from these positions by rotation in September, having completed 9 years on the Ngapuhi Boards. Leigh is a member of the Sistema Aotearoa (Otara) Steering Group, administered by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and is a Trustee of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. He is Inaugural Chair of the Papakura Kootuitui Trust. Leigh is a member of the Pulman Trust, which provides governance to Pulman Park, and is on the Habitat for Humanity Board.

Leigh was Chair of the Recovery Solutions Group Trust and Director of Recovery Solutions Property Trust and Recovery Solutions Services Ltd prior to their merger with the Richmond NZ Trust, and was a Trustee of the new entity, Emerge Aotearoa Trust and subsidiaries for a further year until June 2016. He was a Trustee of More Than a Roof New Zealand until September 2016. He was a Commissioner on the Local Government Commission from August 2015 until April 2017. Leigh was a Director of Auckland Council Property Ltd from November 2010 until August 2015, when the CCO merged with Waterfront Auckland to become Development Auckland.

He is, or has been, on a wide range of Advisory Boards and Committees in the public sector. He was a member of the Board of Inquiry for the Men’s Prison at Wiri between November 2010 and July 2011, and a member of the Government appointed review team for the Kaipara District Council between June and October 2012. Leigh is a former President of the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI), an inaugural fellow of the NZPI, and holds several awards, including the  Distinguished Services Award and the Award of Merit, from the Institute. He also received a 50th Jubilee Award from the Eastern Regional Organisation for Planning and Human Settlements (EAROPH) for his contribution to Planning and Human Settlements. Leigh continues to be actively involved with the New Zealand Planning Institute where he co-facilitates leadership programmes and a range of other activities. An advocate of continuous learning, Leigh has attended Executive Programmes at Stanford, Harvard, Mt Eliza and IMD (Lausanne).


Jennie Auton   Top

Jennie Auton – Administrator

Jennie provides administrative support to the office, and brings to the company her organisational skills and attention to detail. She was formerly a coordinator and peer reviewer for the Te Wana Quality Programme.

Jennie has a Diploma of Business Administration from Manukau Institute of Technology and a Mauri Ora Certificate with Te Wananga O Aotearoa.

Her background is in the primary health sector in Counties Manukau, where she has had roles as a Public Health Nurse, a Plunket Nurse, a PlunketLine Call Centre Clinical Leader, and as a Practice Manager for a general practice.



Our Associates


Jane Telfer  Top

Jane Telfer– JET Administration

Jane has strong administration skills with extensive experience in providing PA/admin support to senior levels across multiple industries including medicine, academia and local authorities.

She was Executive Assistant to Leigh Auton in his former role as CEO of Manukau City Council , which ended with the establishment of the Auckland Council on 1 November 2010.

Jane was subsequently employed by Auton & Associates until May 2015, when she left to establish her own business.

Jane continues to provide EA support services to Leigh in her current capacity as an administration support contractor.


Jessie  Top

Jessie Whittet– Research Assistant

Jessie provides HR services, research and writing support and analytical skills.

She has a background in Human Resources, with experience in HR Analysis, Remuneration Coordination, Recruitment Support and HR Administration. She also has experience in research and writing.

Jessie has been involved in several large HRIS projects, and in the development and implementation of workforce reports. She also has experience providing psychometric test administration, interpretation and feedback.

Jessie completed a Bachelor of Arts and Commerce from the University of Auckland in 2004, majoring in English Literature, Psychology, and Management and Employment Relations.