New chief executive finds QLDC's work 'eye-opening'

Adam Feeley.
Adam Feeley.
Understanding every detail of what the Queenstown Lakes District Council does and determining the most important issues are the priorities of new council chief executive Adam Feeley after his first working week.

Arriving three months into the financial year and towards the end of the calendar year means the council's annual report has been finalised but "there is a sense of, 'OK, we need to get stuff done before Christmas'," he said yesterday.

In his last position, Mr Feeley headed the Serious Fraud Office and he is now slowly coming to terms with "the sheer breadth of what the council does".

"It's quite eye-opening when you realise how many things are being juggled."

Mr Feeley attended the council's general meeting yesterday to hear council finance, general manager Stewart Burns tell councillors and staff a $17.3 million surplus had been posted for the last financial year.

After sitting in the chief executive's seat for a week, Mr Feeley said he was not in the position to be making judgements about the council's finances or declaring what he would like to change about how the council operates.

"Certainly, in the course of a week I can't see anything that leaps out at me. At this point, it's more a point of having lots of questions around costs rather than having opinions of what costs need to be managed."

Out of the office, he has been busy on his bike and has already ridden most of the Queenstown Cycle Trail.

He is also trying to persuade councillors and council staff to compete in the corporate section of next year's Godzone adventure race to support the Starship Foundation.

He has bought a house in Arrowtown and likes the size of the community.

"Everything is easy - getting to work, shopping, parking ."

"Everyone is so welcoming and again it's the scale of the place."

Despite recent violent incidents in Queenstown, he is adamant "in the scheme of things, Queenstown is a really nice, safe place".