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The Dunedin City Council expects to announce its next chief executive by the end of the month, Mayor Dave Cull says.
The news came after a meeting of the council's chief executive appraisal and appointment committee - headed by Mr Cull - behind closed doors yesterday.
Contacted by the Otago Daily Times, Mr Cull said the list of ''around 30'' applicants had already been whittled down to form a ''long list'' of candidates still in the running for the job.
He would not say how many candidates had made it on to the long list, but each of them would be interviewed by the committee over the next week or so, Mr Cull said.
The interviews would be conducted either in person or via the internet, before a shortlist was presented to the full council to consider.
There was no set number of candidates needed for the shortlist, but it ''could be two or three'', and anyone who made the shortlist would be considered ''appointable''.
Yesterday's meeting was ''just part of the process'' that began last month, Mr Cull said, following confirmation of outgoing chief executive Paul Orders' shock departure.
The recruitment drive had so far been conducted by EQI Global on the council's behalf, and Mr Cull said he was pleased with the calibre of the candidates identified.
''We are confident that we have sufficient choice for council to make a call, ultimately, to appoint [a successful candidate].
''We're happy that we have some good choices.''
He said an announcement by the end of the month had always been intended, as the council wanted to ''keep the momentum up on this process''.
''We don't want a long transition.''