Dylan Thorne

Dylan is the deputy editor of the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: Poole has work cut out

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If Tauranga City Council's new chief executive had any doubt about the scale of the task ahead of him it would have been removed by the announcement he had been brought in to "steady the ship".

Garry Poole, the former Wellington City Council chief executive, received an official Maori welcome this week.

Mayor Stuart Crosby was up front about the challenges ahead, referencing recent upheavals and controversy at the city council during the welcoming ceremony.

He said there had been challenging times with the death of former CEO Ken Paterson and the restructuring of the council carried on by interim CEO Leigh Auton. Mr Crosby asked Mr Poole to "stabilise the ship as we move forward".

His remarks follow the council making a confidential settlement to Melanie Paterson, the widow of the CEO.

It was subsequently disclosed the council had made payouts of $1.3 million to former staff during the seven years to June 30 last year of which $828,000 was for 21 "settlement and exit packages".

Mr Poole will be drawing on his experience at the helm of the Wellington City Council to navigate the council into smoother waters.

You would hope this would be a short-term goal and that he would be able to turn his attention to larger issues effecting the city as a whole.

Mr Poole has been credited for leading behind the scenes in the transformation which lead to the Lonely Planet tourism guide describing Wellington as "possibly the coolest" small city in the world. It appears he has similar hopes for our city.

In an interview earlier this year, Mr Poole said he thought Tauranga had the potential to improve its standing.

Let's hope he is not distracted by issues within the council.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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