The former manager of Dunedin's Moana Pool, Steve Prescott,
is remaining tight-lipped about a new role running
Ashburton's $34 million aquatic and recreation centre.
The appointment comes less than two months after Mr Prescott
resigned from the Dunedin City Council amid controversy over
his handling of Moana Pool vending machine contracts and
media requests for information.
However, it appears he has moved on with help from the
Dunedin City Council, after being backed for the new role in
a reference from within the DCC, it has been confirmed.
Mr Prescott was not commenting yesterday, telling the
Otago Daily Times he had ''moved on'' and had
''nothing at all'' to say.
''I'm happy where I'm at.''
Ashburton District Council chief executive Andrew Dalziel was
confident the council had got the right man for the job after
sifting through 43 applicants to settle on Mr Prescott.
The controversy surrounding Mr Prescott had been ''thoroughly
investigated'' during the appointment process and Mr Dalziel
was satisfied he had ''full disclosure'' from Mr Prescott and
the DCC, he said.
That included a reference from DCC parks, recreation and
aquatics group manager Mick Reece - Mr Prescott's manager
until he resigned - and discussions with other senior council
staff about Mr Prescott, Mr Dalziel said.
''His exit from Dunedin fitted our need to get an
experienced, qualified pool manager.
''We had other good applicants, but he's impressed in terms
of his passion. We think he'll do wonders for swimming in
Mr Prescott's decision to quit the DCC - citing health
reasons - came in March, along with an apology for misleading
responses to questions about profits from Moana Pool vending
Media had been told no council staff were privately
benefiting from the vending machines' proceeds, only for it
to later emerge Mr Prescott had been receiving up to $10,000
a year for more than a decade from private contracts to
restock the machines.
However, a report by independent auditor Crowe Horwath had
concluded the council knew of, and had approved, Mr
Prescott's contractual arrangements.
Mr Dalziel said it appeared Mr Prescott had taken on the
vending machine contracts ''with the best intent for his
''I don't think he really wanted to do it himself. He stepped
in to fill a gap and, if anything, it became a bit of a
hassle doing it.''
However, Mr Dalziel said he was ''pretty hot'' on official
information requirements and issues of ''honesty and
transparency'' had been ''fully discussed''.
''The pool we're building in Ashburton doesn't have vending
machines at the moment and if it does, we'll watch it
''We think we can manage it.''