Mayor to get adviser

Successful candidate expected to be paid between $89,902 to $105,767

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 28/03/2014
 New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd
ROBERT CHARLES/FAIRFAX NZ
New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd is to get an adviser.
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A top-level bureaucrat will be hired to advise New Plymouth's new mayor.

The New Plymouth District Council is advertising for a a high-level adviser for mayor Andrew Judd to support him in his role.

Council chief executive Barbara McKerrow said the successful candidate is expected to be paid between $89,902 to $105,767, which is based on the market range for a senior policy analyst.

The adviser's job will include supporting Mr Judd in research, policy analysis and giving him advice to ensure he knows about relevant strategies, legislation and policies.

It will be the first time a role of this nature has been established for a New Plymouth mayor.

The need for a senior adviser comes after the 2012 legislative change to the role of a town's mayor, Mrs McKerrow said.

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

All mayors now have formal powers similar to those of the Auckland mayor and can lead the development of council plans, policies and budgets, as well as appoint the deputy mayor, establish council committees and appoint chairs to committees without the elected councillors having to vote on the decisions.

The changes, which came in on October 2013, gave mayors a greater ability to lead their council, Mrs McKerrow said.

"Andrew is the first Mayor of New Plymouth District to have these new powers and I am making sure he is supported to enact them," she said.

The job was listed on seek.co.nz last Friday and Mrs McKerrow said it was not an uncommon role in local governments around New Zealand.

"In fact some other organisations have more than one staff member supporting the mayor, they have a team," she said.

The role sits within the existing strategy and policy team and the employee will report to the manager of the group.

While the role is new there has been no added money required to pay the adviser's salary.

There was a vacancy within the strategy and policy team that was turned into this new role, Mrs McKerrow said.

Mr Judd, who already has a fulltime personal assistant, said his new adviser would not only help him delegate and research, but would also aid him in dealing with all of the requests the councillors had.

"I have 14 people coming to me on a regular basis with their views, which is good, but I can't process all of their ideas, let alone research them," he said.

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The adviser would allow councillors to have a voice and their ideas would now be relayed to council managers, long before proposed policy came to the table, he said.

"New councillors are frustrated because their ideas don't seem to go anywhere," Mr Judd said.

The job description said the new employee will also "build effective relationships with staff at all levels" and effectively manage "controversial issues".

They will also attend meetings and accompany Mr Judd on external visits, including his community engagement programme.

According to the job description the role calls for someone with 10 years of experience in a senior advisory role, who has an affinity for the district.

ADVISER WILL PROVIDE:

High-level policy and procedure advice

Undertake research

Data analysis

Summarise and advise mayor on correspondence

Manage controversial issues

Attend meetings

Provide on the spot advice

Direct the preparation of reports

- Taranaki Daily News

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