WCC boss in caretaker role until April handover

KATIE CHAPMAN
Last updated 05:00 08/02/2013

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Outgoing Wellington City Council chief executive Garry Poole will stay on until April 12.

Yesterday, city councillors voted unanimously in favour of a transition plan for when Mr Poole hands over the reins to incoming chief executive Kevin Lavery, the current head of Cornwall Council in Britain.

Mr Poole's contract expires on March 2, while Dr Lavery's start date is March 31, leaving a month with no chief executive.

Under the transition, Mr Poole will continue as chief executive on his current salary until March 31, and then stay on in an "advisory role" for a further two weeks while Dr Lavery settles in.

Mr Poole is on a salary of $419,230 a year, while Dr Lavery's will be $400,000. The two weeks during which both will be paid will cost ratepayers $16,124 in extra wages.

At yesterday's meeting, councillors said Mr Poole staying on in a handover capacity was the best approach.

"What we're looking for is a seamless transition," Deputy Mayor Ian McKinnon said, and a handover period was "standard practice".

Mr Poole has been chief executive of the council for 15 years, and reapplied for the position, but lost out to Dr Lavery in a close vote at a closed-doors council meeting late last year.

In a statement to staff earlier this week, Mr Poole said he was focused on making the transition run smoothly.

"The executive leadership team [ELT] is preparing a welcome and induction programme for Dr Lavery . . . In the meantime, it is business as usual.

"I am continuing to work closely with the mayor, councillors, ELT, the leadership group and staff throughout the organisation. It is important that we stay focused on the issues and challenges to hand."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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