Tauranga gets new top man

By Amy McGillivray

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A new chief executive for Tauranga City Council has been appointed nine months after the death of previous chief executive Ken Paterson.

The appointment of Wellington City Council chief executive Garry Poole was announced yesterday.

Mr Poole had been chief executive in Wellington for 15 years and was expected to take up the position in Tauranga in April.

Stuff.co.nz reported that Mr Poole was voted out of his current position by councillors in December 2012.

Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said the appointment was the result of a robust selection process which began in late October.

"All the elected members and myself understand the importance of this position, not just for Tauranga City Council but for the city as a whole and the wider Western Bay," he said. "One of the key reasons we picked Garry against a very good shortlist of candidates was his experience and his style. He's highly respected in New Zealand local government and other sectors as a competent chief executive of a council. We think he's the man for the job."

Mr Poole's local government background was a contrast to that of his predecessor, Mr Crosby said.

"Ken came from a commercial and regional council background whereas Garry has come from an auditing background and quite a large city council."

As chief executive of Wellington City Council, Mr Poole was responsible for a staff of 1400 people and an organisation with more than $7 billion worth of assets and income of more than $450 million.

He has previously been executive director for Audit New Zealand and has worked for the Audit Office in New Zealand and overseas. He is a chartered accountant and was vice-president of the Wellington Rugby Union.

Mr Poole said he was looking forward to the new role.

"While I will be sad to leave Wellington, I am very excited about this great opportunity and challenge," he said.

"Tauranga is one of the country's fastest-growing cities and I am looking forward to working with the mayor, councillors and the organisation to ensure the city is managed in a way that serves the best interests of the community and the city's future.

"I'm thrilled to be offered this position. I am looking forward to a new place with new challenges and huge potential."

Councillor Murray Guy said he was reasonably confident in Mr Poole's ability but his preference was someone with more private sector experience.

Mr Poole's total remuneration for the Tauranga role would be $340,000 per year.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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