No details on Dobbie payout

Queenstown Lakes District Council chief executive Adam Feeley has declined to disclose the details of a payout to former Lakes Environmental chief executive Hamish Dobbie, who resigned from his position this month.

Mr Dobbie resigned on April 9 and Peter Laurenson, husband of Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden, was appointed temporary chief executive, beginning in the role on April 15. In response to a request for information by the Otago Daily Times under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 regarding Mr Dobbie's payout, Mr Feeley, appointed to the Lakes Environmental board of directors, said ''for reasons of personal privacy I am not willing to disclose the details of the sum awarded''.

Under Auditor-general guidelines on requirements to disclose severance payments, no disclosure was required for payment in lieu of notice or redundancy payments which did not exceed contractual entitlements.

''I confirm that the only payments made were within the terms of Mr Dobbie's contract,'' Mr Feeley said.

''However, ... [section] 33 of the Local Government Act requires that the amount of severance paid is required to be disclosed in annual reports, and this will occur in due course.''

The 2012-13 annual report is due to be adopted by the council at the beginning of OctoberIn an email, Mr Feeley said Mr Dobbie's remuneration package was in the ''$260k-$270k band'', with a 10% at-risk component based on ''various performance criteria''.

''Mr Dobbie had a performance assessment prior to his departure, based on having completed 75% of this annual review period.

''The board assessed his performance, relative to the performance criteria, and determined the extent to which the criteria had been met.

''It then awarded 75% [three-quarters of a year] of that sum [the at-risk portion].''

For ''reasons of personal privacy'' he would not disclose details of the sum awarded.

Mr Feeley said neither he nor Ms van Uden voted on the matter.

''Being newly appointed directors we did not consider we had sufficient knowledge of his performance to make a fully informed decision either way.''

The Lakes Environmental board, comprising chairwoman Anne Urlwin, directors Nick Brown, Jeffrey Brown and Mike Coburn, resigned on April 12.

They were immediately replaced by Mr Feeley, Ms van Uden and QLDC chief financial officer Stewart Burns, as interim directors. The trio are also on the board of Lakes Leisure Ltd.

Both Lakes Environmental and Lakes Leisure were advised in March of the council's decision to disband the council-controlled organisations.

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