Officer's 40-year council career to end

By Alisa Yong alisa.yong@age.co.nz -
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Senior council officer Milan Hautler is retiring from Carterton District Council after almost 40 years of service. PHOTO/ALISA YONG
Senior council officer Milan Hautler is retiring from Carterton District Council after almost 40 years of service. PHOTO/ALISA YONG

One of Carterton's longest-serving council officers is set to retire after nearly four decades of working for his community.

Carterton District Council's planning and regulatory manager Milan Hautler is retiring next month after an almost 40-year career working for two Carterton councils.

Mr Hautler, 67, said he had been considering leaving for some time, but had finally settled on Easter as the final date. He winds up his management role on March 24 but will remain as part-time electoral officer until October.

Mr Hautler said he was looking forward to relaxing, gardening, getting into some "more serious cycling" and spending more time with his grandchildren, but would miss working with his colleagues at council.

"I'll miss the friendships of staff, and I'll certainly miss the staff and the variety of work."

Of Czech extraction but raised in East Tilbury not far from London, Mr Hautler's family migrated to New Zealand in 1965 when he was 16.

The family purchased a 40-acre farm in Carterton and Mr Hautler's father commuted to Wellington, where he was the chief designer for the Bata shoe company.

Mr Hautler's brother Peter followed in his father's footsteps in setting up Peter's Shoe Values, but Mr Hautler was keen on a career in farming and worked on several farms and then a bank before being employed as a senior clerk at the Wairarapa South County Council in October 1976.

He rose through the ranks and became planning and regulatory manager of the district council in about 1999, but remains modest about his success.

"In a small organisation like this you get to do a variety of duties and you become familiar with a number of aspects and processes, and it was determined by the chief executive we should have a planning and regulatory manager and I seemed to fit the bill."

Since then he has had two stints as acting chief executive, been involved with the creation of the Wairarapa Combined District Plan, the evolution of the Events Centre, and the redevelopment of Holloway St and the CBD.

Mr Hautler said he had seen many changes during his time with council, including the amalgamation of the borough and county councils and the acquisition of the council's first computer, which was purchased when the accounting machine broke down in the late 1980s.

He said one of the achievements he was most proud of was the manuka plantation, a joint venture with Comvita which is to be established later this year in the Kaipaitangata Forest.

His replacement has yet to be appointed.

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