Kaipara appoints new chief executive

By Alexandra Newlove

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Graham Sibery.
Graham Sibery.

Kaipara District Council has appointed a new chief executive, set to take his post on July 4.

Graham Sibery joins the council from a background in transportation, his past roles including director of operations and deputy rail commissioner at the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure of the Government of South Australia.

Before that he worked for Veolia Transdev Australasia including two years as managing director of the business's Auckland arm, responsible for the city's passenger train network. He had been travelling in Europe over the past year.

Yesterday, KDC commissioner chairman John Robertson said he was "very excited" about the appointment.

He refrained from passing on Mr Sibery's contact details, saying it was unfair to start questioning him before his first day on the job.

"[Mr Sibery] understands community engagement and will enjoy the environment that Kaipara provides," Mr Robertson said.

Meanwhile, the KDC commissioners were pursuing former chief executive Jack McKerchar through the Employment Relations Authority for his handling of a botched sewerage system initially estimated to cost $10.8 million, but which ended up costing five times as much, leading to spiralling debt.

Mr McKerchar left the council in 2011.

Mr Robertson said the recruitment campaign to find Mr Sibery had been "extensive" and his starting would coincide with the new council due to be elected October.

Mr Sibery - who holds a Master of Arts in Modern History from Oxford University and a PHD in international studies from the University of South Carolina - said in a statement he was looking forward "immensely" to moving to Kaipara and meeting the district's people.

"It is a rich and diverse area that I always enjoyed visiting ... There is great potential here and I am keen to work with everyone involved to ensure that we are successful and competitive."

Mr Sibery replaces acting chief executive Dr Jill McPherson.

- Northern Advocate

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