Outgoing chief executive Paul Orders has been worth every
cent, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says.
Mr Cull said and he had no concerns about Mr Orders' early
departure just two years into a five-year contract.
Mr Cull also remained confident the council was not about to
slip back into old habits after Mr Orders' departure, saying
the next chief executive would face similar expectations.
Mr Cull was commenting after it was confirmed last week Mr
Orders was to leave Dunedin by Christmas to take up a new
role as chief executive of Cardiff Council in Wales.
Mr Orders would be returning to the organisation he quit in
2011 to take up a five-year contract at the Dunedin City
Council, worth between $340,000 and $360,000 a year.
The recruitment process that led to him had also cost the DCC
$84,000, but Mr Cull said yesterday Mr Orders had ''more than
justified any expense'' and he had no qualms about the
''That's just the way it has turned out. I imagine that
Cardiff was the only place that would have tempted him away
from here. I can understand that - it's his home town.''
Mr Orders had been given a brief, and had delivered on it,
including driving the restructure of the council and pushing
staff to trim millions of dollars from council spending, Mr
That was achieved without huge cuts to staff numbers or
council services, allowing the forecast rates increase to be
slashed from 11.9% to 5% in 2012-13 and to 4% this year.
''In the past, council under different management had found
it impossible to find those sorts of savings.
''[Mr Orders] came in and he restructured and he realigned
the culture ... and found those savings, without getting rid
of lots of people and without diminishing services,'' Mr Cull
Mr Orders also did it while also declining a $35,000 pay
rise, saying it could not be justified while the organisation
remained in savings mode, Mr Cull pointed out.
''Any expenditure to get him and keep him here has been well
worth it. He has more than justified it.''
As a result, Mr Orders would receive neither an exit package
nor any penalty when he left, Mr Cull confirmed. He denied Mr
Orders' departure would be a major blow for the organisation,
saying ''the bulk'' of changes under Mr Orders were now in
''From now on, it's as much a matter of consolidating and
implementing that ... it's a slightly different role.''
He doubted the council was about to slip back into old
habits, saying, despite Mr Orders' success, ''no-one's
''We would be giving the directive to the incoming chief
executive to continue the same policies and getting the same
outcomes as Paul has put in place.''
The search for Mr Orders' replacement began last week, and it
was hoped a list of potential candidates would be ready
shortly after the local body election.
The list would be considered first by the council's
appointment subcommittee, with interviews to be held before a
shortlist was presented to the full council to consider, Mr
It was hoped a new chief executive would be chosen before the
end of the year, although exactly when they could start would
depend on who was chosen and whether they had to give notice
at another organisation, he said.
If a replacement could start immediately, that would avoid
the need for a ''disruptive'' transition period under an
acting chief executive. It could also allow Mr Orders to
leave before his three-month notice period was up, Mr Cull