Council aims to find replacement for outgoing CEO by end of April

November 16, 2020

The Waitaki District Council hopes to appoint a new chief executive by the end of April, Mayor Gary Kircher has confirmed.

In July, Fergus Power announced he would step down as chief executive - a post he has held since September 2017 - in June next year, just shy of four years into his five-year contract.

Petone recruitment consultancy Equip had been helping Mr Kircher and Waitaki district councillors to find a replacement for Mr Power.

The position description was being finalised, and formal advertising was expected to start in January, Mr Kircher said.

‘‘So far, it’s looking quite positive that there will be very good interest in the role,’’ he said.

The role would be advertised for about four to six weeks.

A council subcommittee would interview shortlisted candidates, and then the top two or three candidates would face Mr Kircher and all councillors for a ‘‘more intensive’’ interview.

‘‘Ultimately, it will be the whole council that makes the call.’’

The council hoped to make a decision by the end of April next year.

When Mr Power announced his intention to leave the council, he said he planned to move to Thailand with his wife, Tri.

They wanted to be closer to her family in Thailand, as the Covid-19 pandemic had disrupted travel around the world, he said.

Before Covid-19, the couple had regularly visited Thailand.

Mr Power said he still had much to achieve before he left ‘‘in terms of strengthening council’s capacity to assist in making the Waitaki the best place to be’’.

That included a ‘‘heightened focus on attracting new businesses and residents to the district, while working with Tourism Waitaki and industry stakeholders to maximise domestic visitation’’ to strengthen the district’s resilience in the face of any further social and economic shocks, he said.