Wellington Scoop

“My job’s moving to Auckland … and I don’t want to go there”

One of the more cheerful headlines this morning reports the decision of a Wellington economist to resign from his job because he doesn’t want to leave Wellington. Brendan O’Donovan, Westpac’s chief economist, is to quit his job at the bank on Friday when the rest of his team transfer to Auckland.

His pithy explanation, reported by Hamish Rutherford in the DomPost:

“The room’s moving to Auckland and my job’s going up there and I couldn’t be arsed going.”

Whether or not to move? It’s a choice that’s been forced on hundreds of Wellingtonians. Mr O’Donovan’s decision to stay at home and have a more relaxed lifestyle sounds as if it has everything in its favour:

“I’m going to take a year or two out, get fit, and spend time with the family and enjoy myself actually. I can’t wait.”

What would he do if he was offered a job that was less time-consuming? “We’ll see.” The Wellington City Council might well want to seek his advice about whether or not to contribute money to a controversial “bond bank” that’s been proposed by Local Government New Zealand. The Hutt City Council will tomorrow discuss a proposal to lobby against the plan, in which the Dunedin City Council has decided not to participate because it would be required to guarantee the liabilities of others in the event of a default. “I would have thought that’s not minimising risk, that’s increasing risk,” says the manager of Dunedin’s city borrowings.

As the Wellington City Council continues to say that it’s facing “tough times,” advice from a leading economist with time on his hands could be just what it needs.