Former Key adviser to reprise role for mayor Judd

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 29/05/2014

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A former adviser to the Prime Minister has been announced as Mayor Andrew Judd's new right-hand man.

Greg Stephens will take up the new New Plymouth District Council role of mayoral adviser next Tuesday.

Judd said Stephens would join the council from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, where his role included working with councils on housing supply issues.

He had also worked in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet's policy advisory group, Judd said.

"This position included providing support and policy advice to the prime minister," Judd said.

"Greg has good experience and sound knowledge of both local and central government policy. I am looking forward to having him on board."

Council manager of corporate strategy Lucy Graydon said last year Stephens had completed a six-month internship with the Department of the Prime Minister.

The internship is awarded to promising policy advisers, she said, and council was lucky to have someone who had been on the programme.

Stephens would move to New Plymouth with his wife and his young family, Graydon said.

‘More than 20 people applied for the job and it is the first time such a role has been established for a New Plymouth mayor.

In March, council chief executive Barbara McKerrow said the successful candidate would be expected to be paid $89,902 to $105,767.

In October the Daily News revealed 33 council staff members earned salaries of more than $100,000 in the 2012-13 financial year. McKerrow has previously said the need for a senior adviser came after the 2012 legislative change to the role of a town's mayor.

In 2012 the Minister for Local Government announced a reform programme for local government.

All mayors now can lead the development of council plans, policies and budgets, as well as appoint the deputy mayor and establish council committees.

Judd has already signalled that he expects the new adviser to look into the possibility of council amalgamation in Taranaki.

Stephens will also help Judd assess the flow of ideas received from councillors and community members, as well as support the mayor in research, policy analysis, relevant strategies, legislation and policies.

The role is not an additional cost to council and ratepayers because it is funded from an existing vacancy.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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