Bidrose feels honoured as service ends on a pastoral note

As she ties up loose ends at the end of seven years as the Dunedin City Council’s chief executive, Sue Bidrose is working from a different office.

Council staff, in their own time using their own money, filled her actual office with three taxidermied sheep, hay bales, real grass, Swanndri clothing for her and her dog, and an assortment of farming tools.

The elaborate prank was a nod to her new role as the chief executive of Crown-owned agricultural research institute AgResearch.

Dr Bidrose, who has a reputation for supporting her staff, said despite the inconvenience of the farm setting in her office, she felt honoured.

"I know it’s done with a return of affection, and that’s quite touching," she said.

"I do go to bat for my staff: if we make a mistake, we fess up and we fix it — and we are only human, we make mistakes.

"The staff who are still here, and are working hard, deserve to be looked after, because they are without exception doing their best to do a good job for this city."

Taxidermied sheep take up temporary residence in Sue Bidrose’s Dunedin City Council office as the...
Taxidermied sheep take up temporary residence in Sue Bidrose’s Dunedin City Council office as the outgoing chief executive is pranked by her staff in her final week in the role. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH

Dr Bidrose said she knew something was afoot when she was asked not to come into the office at the weekend.

And on Monday morning, it was the effort that went into the prank that impressed her.

About 50 staff appeared to have used their time off on the weekend to install the pastoral scene — there had been hints last week her office was going to get "a bit smelly".

Dr Bidrose finishes her tenure at the council on Friday and is due to depart the same day for Christchurch.

About 90 people farewelled her at an event at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery on Monday.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

See this weekend’s The Mix for an interview with Dr Bidrose.

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