The West Coast is about to get a slew of new chief executives in key roles, with interest from overseas in the top ranking positions.

The West Coast Regional Council, Buller District Council and Westland Milk Products are all recruiting for their top jobs, while on Friday the vacant area police commander's vacancy was filled by Inspector Mel Aitken.

The regional council is preparing a list of candidates for its new chief executive, while the Buller council may be close to appointing one.

In January, Buller District Council chief executive Paul Wylie resigned after the council announced that his five-year contract, which had been due to expire in December 2016, would not be renewed.


A month later regional council chief executive Chris Ingle announced he was stepping down after 10 years in the role. Mr Ingle will finish on May 24 to become general manager of integrated catchments with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Buller Mayor Garry Howard said this morning his council was still in the process of finding a replacement chief executive. However, it was "not far off giving an announcement when we can".

Thirty-seven had applied for the job, and the "calibre of candidates is very good".

"We have been through a selection and interview process, it's been quite extensive. I have been really pleased with the level of candidates, there's certainly some quality in New Zealand in that regard, both coming from the private sector and local government," Mr Howard said.

Candidates were from Australia and "throughout New Zealand".

Regional council chairman Andrew Robb said their recruitment process was being handled by a Christchurch company and was currently in the process of "long-listing" for candidates.

"We will probably be getting a fairly clear indication of who we have got for interviews mid-next week," Mr Robb said.

Meanwhile, Ms Aitken, who was initially appointed as a temporary replacement for former police boss John Canning, was last week confirmed for the permanent position.

Westland Milk Products is also searching for a new chief executive after the current incumbent Rod Quin announced in late February that he was standing down after seven years in the job.

Although based in Rolleston, Canterbury, it is the highest paid job on the West Coast, with a salary of about $700,000.

Westland Milk chairman Matt O'Regan said they were also under way with recruitment.

"As one of New Zealand's top 50 companies and a leading exporter, it is important we cast our net widely to ensure we find the right person. We will therefore be looking overseas as well as nationally. This is not a task to be rushed, we owe it to our shareholders to find the very best person for the job, so we expect that the process of finding a new CEO will take some time."

- Greymouth Star