The search for a new boss of Wellington's $7 billion transport project has been fruitless, 10 months on from when the last programme director resigned.
Let's Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) is proposing light rail for the city, a second Mt Victoria tunnel, removing private vehicles from the Golden Mile, and other walking and cycling improvements.
But the LGWM partnership board is having a tough time finding someone who wants to be in charge of it all.
In March last year, then programme director Andrew Body resigned from his position after a scathing review found the transport project was at risk of failing. Body had been in the role for 18 months.
He had previously been accused of making a sexist comment to a local businesswoman after he told her: "You look better in the paper than you do in real life".
Body subsequently acknowledged the comment was careless and apologised.
Since Body made his exit, David Dunlop, who was the former technical director of LGWM, has been the acting programme director.
LGWM partnership board independent chairman Dave Brash told the Herald they were still recruiting for a permanent programme director and were looking nationally and internationally for suitable candidates.
"This is a challenging time to hire experienced infrastructure leaders, with significant infrastructure work in the pipeline and with restrictions to travel and migration due to Covid-19.
"The board is focused on finding and appointing the right person to the role, and we will publicly announce the new programme director when they are selected."
LGWM is a joint partnership between Waka Kotahi NZTA, Wellington City Council, and Greater Wellington Regional Council.
LGWM Governance Reference Group chairman Daran Ponter said the group had been concerned about the vacancy, but he was confident the transport project was still in good hands.
"I would have preferred that the matter had been settled before now, but I am just grateful that we've got as good a acting programme director as we do in Dave Dunlop."
"We're also aware that Waka Kotahi management have been looking to address the issue and ultimately this person is an employee of the New Zealand Transport Agency and we've had assurances that they've had this issue at hand."
The job has been publicly advertised and applications closed yesterday.
The advertisement said to succeed in the role applicants would need to develop, lead, and deliver the overall LGWM programme.
Candidates would need to provide supportive and collaborative leadership and "have what it takes" to engage transparently in complex and multi-faceted business environments, the advertisement said.
"A project of this nature will come with challenging milestones, meaning that maintaining momentum will be crucial. So, you will be adept in setting goals and following through on them."
Dunlop will remain as acting programme director until a permanent programme director is appointed.