Wellington Scoop

GWRC extends search for new CE, after chair withdraws application for job

The Greater Wellington Regional Council is seeking a new chief executive, and today it announced that it has extended the advertising period till April 2.

Cr Glenda Hughes, chair of the council’s Chief Executive Employment Review Committee, said in a media statement that the extension is

“about ensuring a robust and fair appointment process that gives due consideration to all candidates.”

She added:

“Greater Wellington is looking for the necessary leadership, vision and capability to drive the organisation and region forward and making sure we have a rich pool of applicants is vitally important.”

Today’s statement came after a weekend report in the NZ Herald which said the regional council’s chair Cr Daran Ponter was applying for the chief executive position.

But today the Herald reported that Cr Ponter has withdrawn his job application for the chief executive role.

The Herald quotes him as saying that upon reflection, the best way he could serve the region was in his current role as chairman.

“So I have withdrawn from the recruitment process for the CEO position. I’m grateful for the support of my fellow councillors who are committed to doing our best for the ratepayers and residents of Greater Wellington.”


  1. Conor Hill, 16. March 2021, 13:03

    Who else is one the CEO committee? Hughes is way out in some ideological wilderness, hope it doesn’t come down to her choice.

  2. Ray Chung, 16. March 2021, 15:19

    Conor, I sincerely hope ideology of any ilk is excluded in the criteria for choosing a new CEO!

  3. Hamish Rutherford, 16. March 2021, 16:37

    So the chair of the Regional Council will play no part in the biggest decision the council will make this year, ie, appointing the chief executive. This looks incredibly clumsy. [via twitter]

  4. Michael Gibson, 16. March 2021, 19:14

    Well, if he plays “no part in the biggest decision the council will make this year,” perhaps he can concentrate on giving us a bus from the middle of Wellington to the Airport. Is it true that Wellington is the only Capital City in the world without public transport to and from its Airport?

  5. Steve Doole, 18. March 2021, 9:45

    Those thoughts on Cr Hughes might be a touch harsh, as in this case, ‘doing the right thing’ appears to be happening. And reminds me of quite the opposite behaviour two years ago for extending the CE at GWRC.
    Another example is advertising years ago for the Chief Executive role of the Auckland Regional Council (which no longer exists) Like many people I was on holiday after Christmas, might have been 1998, and spotted an advert in the NZHerald. I thought the timing was very odd and figured the advert would appear again. If it did, I didn’t see it. I recall an article in the NZHerald pointing out the lack of effort to attract other candidates. The existing CE was re-appointed.
    Looking back I suspect the then chair of the ARC decided to minimise the chance of alternative candidates applying, so advertising was the bare minimum.

    When the CE of GWRC was reappointed, Stuff indicated that there was no public notification. I haven’t seen adverts for the CE of GWRC recently, and perhaps there has been an advertising failure. Extending the application timeframe suggests that there is more chance of having a good choice of candidates. Cr Hughes should be applauded.

  6. Mike Mellor, 18. March 2021, 12:19

    Steve D: here’s the advertisement . It’s not too late to get your application in! (Applications close on 5 April, rather than the 2 April date given above.)

  7. Greenwelly, 18. March 2021, 13:42

    @Mike Mellor, shame it’s for a non-existent organisation. Last time I looked at the Local Government Act, the only legislated body was the “Wellington Regional Council”- now they have branded themselves “Greater Wellington.” If I were applying for a CEO job, I would want to be employed by an actual legal organisation. The Act is very clear that the only regional councils that exist are the ones named in the schedule of the Act.


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