Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Council CEO's performance being evaluated for 10% pay bonus

A review is under way of Hamilton City Council chief executive Barry Harris' first six months at the helm of the ailing city council.

Five elected members will put his achievements under the microscope to see whether he is on track to meet the key performance indicators set out by the elected wing.

Mr Harris must meet the standards by the end of his first year in April to get the 10 per cent performance bonus built into his $360,000-a-year salary.

The chief executive review committee - made up of Mayor Julie Hardaker, Deputy Mayor Gordon Chesterman, Margaret Forsyth, Roger Hennebry and Maria Westphal - received a report from Mr Harris this week outlining his achievements before it meets on Monday. The committee's recommendations on his performance will then be tabled at the full council meeting on February 23.

So far three other councillors have given feedback to Mr Chesterman for the committee's consideration. Ms Hardaker said the review was three months late because of the council's busy workload last year deciding on the 2012 to 22 Long Term Plan.

Ms Hardaker did not want to comment on Mr Harris' performance until after the review process was completed.

"I have a good relationship with the chief executive officer and as we know he's been very busy since he arrived."

Mr Harris has faced the challenge of curbing the council's spiralling debt, cleaning up the mess highlighted in the damning V8 audit review and addressing the unrealistic targets set for the new Claudelands Event Centre.

Other council bosses are under scrutiny for being offered large pay increases after their reviews. Former Hamilton City Council chief executive Tony Marryatt, who now heads Christchurch City Council, and Kapiti District Council chief executive Pat Dougherty were offered $68,000 and $44,000, respectively.

- NZ Herald

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