Hawke’s Bay Today takes on first leading lady

NEW Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay Today has appointed its first female editor-in-chief. She is Natalie Gauld, who has taken over the flagship newspaper of the Hawke’s Bay Newspapers company this week.

Natalie Gauld

Natalie Gauld

Ms Gauld swapped the sunshine of Ipswich – where she was the first female editor of another APN paper, Queensland Times – for the frost of New Zealand’s North Island last week.

She replaces Louis Pierard, who has stepped back from the editor’s chair but remains with the newspaper.

Ms Gauld told www.panpa.org.au she had “come over to New Zealand on family holidays and thought – gee, we could live here”. Her family will join her when the Australian school year finishes.

As well as the HBT, Ms Gauld will oversee four community titles in role that she believes will benefit from her past experience and also provide an opportunity to learn.

“The move from a morning tabloid to an afternoon broadsheet gives me new challenges in cycle and layout,” she said.

“The editorial focus is definitely the same though – local news comes first.”

The change in locale has already present its own challenges.

“Everyone here boasts about the weather – it is a beautiful part of the world – but in my first week I’ve had an earthquake and subzero temperatures.

“I left the house one morning and there were two helicopters flying. My journalistic instincts took over and when I got to the office I asked what road crash or tragedy had occured. I was informed the choppers are often taken up to blow the frost off the grapes in the vineyard.”

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