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The Otago Daily Times reported last week council environmental monitoring and operations director Scott MacLean had left the regional council.
Council chief executive Sarah Gardner confirmed the departure yesterday, but would not comment further on the situation.
She would not be expecting to fill the role before autumn, she said.
Until then, Auckland-based Peter Winder will fill in the role.
He was chief executive of the Auckland Regional Council from January 2005 to October 2010.
He picked up the work through his public sector consulting firm McGredy Winder & Co.
Mr Winder said yesterday he would travel down for the role for three days a week.
''I'm pleased to be able to help where and when I can.''
Mrs Gardner would not comment on the cost of hiring Mr Winder.
This comes as council stakeholder engagement director Sian Sutton also confirmed last week she would be leaving her role.
She will become Aurora Energy's customer and engagement general manager in February.