Wellington Scoop

Council’s new chief executive starts in March; $400,000 a year for five years

News from Wellington City Council
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has confirmed the appointment of Kevin Lavery as the new Chief Executive of Wellington City Council. Dr Lavery, currently the Chief Executive of Cornwall Council in southwest England, will take up his new role in March.

Dr Lavery has been appointed for five years with an annual salary package of $400,000.

Mayor Wade-Brown says she and her colleagues are looking forward to working with Dr Lavery. “He will bring strong leadership and fresh thinking to the Council at a time when the city and region faces big challenges.”

She has personally checked the credentials of Dr Lavery by talking to politicians from across the political spectrum with whom he has worked at the Cornwall Council and, prior to that, in Newcastle. They include the Cornwall Council Leader Jim Currie, the former Leader, Alec Robertson, and North Durham Labour MP and former Newcastle Councillor Kevan Jones.

“Kevin’s career thus far shows he can work with people across the political spectrum and that his focus is on providing affordable and quality services in challenging local government environments. His strategic thinking, telecommunications background and urban regeneration experience will be welcome.

“The main role of any local authority CEO is to implement the decisions of the elected Mayor and Councillors and Kevin will continue to do that in Wellington.”

Mayor Wade-Brown says Dr Lavery interviewed well “and impressed a clear majority of my colleagues”.

She adds that Dr Lavery found the rugged coastline of Wellington attractive – “and with a Doctorate in Urban and Regional Studies he is also relishing the challenges of running a council in a cosmopolitan capital city”.

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  1. Bryan Gould, 26. December 2012, 10:31

    Lesley Longstone was a victim – as were we all – of a syndrome that is now well entrenched – the apparent belief that a half-way competent UK public official with little chance of reaching the top in Britain (as witness the willingness to come to New Zealand) would be good enough to do a wonderful job for us.

    Never mind that knowledge of New Zealand and of our particular requirements might be lacking. The only criterion that matters, it seems, is that the appointee should have demonstrated commitment to the correct ideological positions. [Extracted from NZ Herald article – read his comments in full here.]

  2. Pepe Robertson, 29. December 2012, 13:52

    Why on earth the council is employing people from overseas is beyond my very simple understanding and especially when money is scarce and unemployment is high in NZ. What is wrong with our own home grown well educated fresh thinking strong leaders? They would have much better knowledge and understanding of our local communities and their multicultural makeup. What do we have in common with Cornwall and Newcastle I ask. Are the council not embarrassed to pay a lot of money (my rates) to bring someone from overseas to do a job that a local person could do.