Home' The Wellingtonian : January 10th 2013 Contents 10 THE WELLINGTONIAN, JANUARY 10, 2013
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tonian are no great
fans of city council
chief executive Garry Poole.
After 15 years in his job, he
has appeared increasingly mud-
dled in his thinking and has
been a poor communicator.
The days of him bringing zest
and new ideas to his role seem
long gone. However, he has con-
tinued to claim an annual sal-
ary of $420,000, grotesque in
this era of apparent austerity.
So we were happy when Mr
Poole s position was not simply
rolled over last year.
Instead the council advert-
ised the chief executive s pos-
ition and then drew up a
shortlist of four -- Mr Poole,
Cornwall Council chief execu-
tive Kevin Lavery, a Dunedin
official of moderate ability and
another, more capable, person
currently in a chief executive
role in Wellington.
The council went for the Eng-
lishman, by a 9-6 vote.
He has been offered a five-
year term at $400,000-plus a
What odds he doesn t see out
his term and is paid out, at
It s a pity the councillors got
all misty-eyed at the thought of
hiring someone from overseas
for such a key role.
We ve been down this path
In the 1990s Angela Griffin,
fresh from working at the Red-
ditch and Sandwell borough
councils, landed the council
chief executive role, and the
accompanying gobsmacking sal-
Ms Griffin s time in Welling-
ton was hardly a triumph and
illustrated that where possible
it s better to hire a local. (She
has gone on to become urban
sector manager of the World
Bank, and her Wellington coun-
cil role figures prominently on
When contemplating hiring
someone from overseas -- for a
government, local body or
sports position -- a rule of
thumb might be: If they were
any good wouldn t they be doing
it in their own country?
In a recent interview, Mr
Lavery made much of his love of
rugby and how his children
would attend Wellington
He said Wellington was in a
great position to grow and be
free of the financial strain of
Really? Has he heard about
and leaky homes crises?
We d prefer a chief executive
who knows what Wahine Day
refers to, is familiar with School
C, knows what Black Magic
was, knows who wrote the
mother of all budgets and
remembers the carless days of
the1970s. . .inshort,aNew
Instead we ll spend a fortune
(quite apart from his interview
travel to New Zealand, removal
expenses for his family and
legal costs), educating Mr
Lavery about New Zealand.
Then, chances are, he ll be
gone, with another impressive-
looking line on his CV.
At the moment he s at pains
Thus: Wellington is big
enough to pack a punch without
It would be good if he really
understood the situation before
uttering that sort of stuff.
Some councillors might have
Many of those who voted for
Mr Lavery have railed against
the super-city concept for
But in Cornwall he oversaw
the transition of a county coun-
cil responsible for six district
councils into a single authority
with 123 councillors (!).
Don t be surprised if the
council s chief executive punt
turns out to be a costly blunder.
I loved the Lyall Bay history (Dec
13), which brought back many
happy memories of my childhood
in the 1930s and 40s.
I can remember southerly
busters and gutters filled with
sand all the way up Freyberg St.
The library was above the
butcher shop and the librarians
sure kept an eye on our choice of
books -- they once rang an aunt
(we didn t have a phone) to tell her
they thought I had taken home an
It was For Whom the Bell Tolls.
It was taken from me and
There was a tearoom at the end
of Onepu Rd called the Silver
Slipper, a very popular
destination for those who came by
tram to Lyall Bay.
The movie theatre was also on
the parade, almost opposite the
band rotunda (another attraction
at the weekends) and was called
The Seaside, then The Tatler.
However, when the flash
Kilbirnie Kinema opened, the
patronage fell off and the Tatler
Your article prompted me to get
out the photo album and renewed
memories of wonderful picnics --
the southerly did not always blow.
mind its business
Great work on the article on
registration and warrant fines
(Dec 13). There may be more to
From the figures provided, the
council collected $1,867,272, of
which half is paid to the police.
This leaves $933,636 for the
council, except there will be a
proportion paid to Parkwise for
policing and issuing tickets, the
costs of the council staff who run
the system and council overheads.
I wonder exactly how much the
council costs are and how much
money is left to maintain
Wellington s roads , as Mr
I expect the amount will be very
small and the scheme may even
run at a net cost to the council.
Why should the council issue
tickets and collect fines for
something that does not benefit
the ratepayers and is not the core
business of the council?
If parking wardens issued
reminders that registrations and
warrants of fitness were due,
there might be a benefit (to
But in my experience they seem
to monitor due dates and issue
tickets the day after the one-
month period of grace .DON SMITH
Congratulations on your
editorial (Dec 13) regarding the
publicity antics of our mayor,
I really don t know where this
notion that a mayor should be
hurling himself or herself at photo
opportunities on a daily basis has
come from. The pursuit of silly
photos appears to have no bounds.
I ve always imagined the
position of mayor to be one of
dignity and leadership, not one of
competing for the role of Village
Idiot. I ve obviously lost touch.
I read your editorial (Dec 13)
about who may or may not contest
the mayoral candidacy against the
incumbent, Celia Wade-Brown.
On the opposite page, Gordon
Campbell did an expose on how
the National Government is losing
its way regarding the job situation
and economic growth.
There are similarities between
Both have ruled, but neither
has attained the goals they set for
themselves, or what they
promised their constituents.
The flight of labour from New
Zealand has been extraordinary.
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