Rotorua's top job is up for grabs, but prospective candidates will be up against the man who has held the role for five-and-a-half years.

Rotorua Lakes Council chief executive Geoff Williams confirmed he would re-apply for the role, which he began in 2013.

His tenure was extended in 2017 for two years but now that period was up, the council must re-advertise the role.

The Local Government Act did not allow for a further extension of the term of the employment agreement, which meant Williams had to re-apply for the job.

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Mayor Steve Chadwick said the Act was clear that the council had to re-advertise the role.

"We also believe that Geoff has performed extremely well during the last six years."

The council had decided on a recruitment process and confirmed the skills the attributes it wanted to see in the chief executive who would lead the organisation in the next period.

Chadwick expected the process would be completed within the first three months of 2020.

The successful candidate was likely to be announced in March. That process would be led by independent HR consultant Greg Tims, who referred the request for comment on to the council communications team.

The job description was in development and would be available when the job was formally advertised in late January.

The chief executive's salary would be negotiated with the successful candidate, but in 2019 had been $374,721.

That had been bumped up from $330,340 in 2018. The job also came with a vehicle allowance of $15,650, down from $16,160 in 2018.

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That figure included fringe benefit tax.

Williams and Chadwick declined to comment further on the issue when approached by the Rotorua Daily Post.