City council's recruitment bill for stadium chief tops $66,500

The international hunt that led the Dunedin City Council to David Davies - the man tasked with running Forsyth Barr Stadium - was one of the most expensive in the council's history, it has been confirmed.

The council spent $66,571.90 in the search for a chief executive for Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML), the company formed by the council to run the stadium and other venues.

Mr Davies was named as the successful candidate on October 7 and arrived in Dunedin to begin work last month.

Details of the bill for the council's recruitment process were released to the Otago Daily Times yesterday, following a request under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.

Council chief executive Jim Harland believed the cost was reasonable, given the search involved 84 candidates from New Zealand and internationally.

The bill included a fee paid to New Zealand recruitment company Sheffield Search, which handled the recruitment process, as well as international and national flights and accommodation for some candidates.

It also covered the cost of an employment consultant travelling to and from Auckland to meet an appointment panel.

Video conferencing had been used where possible, but other costs included psychometric testing, advertising, couriers, phone charges, mileage and taxis and printing, faxing and postage.

Mr Harland could not say how many flights had been paid for, or how many candidates had received them, but believed it was "not a large number".

Sixteen candidates had been interviewed, either in person or by video conference before a shortlist of four was finalised - two within New Zealand and two, including Mr Davies, from overseas.

Mr Harland confirmed the process was among the most expensive searches for a senior executive undertaken by the council.

He believed the cost compared favourably with the $52,974 paid by the council in 2006 when it was required to search for a potential replacement for Mr Harland.

That process - involving a national, rather than international hunt - eventually led to Mr Harland's reappointment.



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