Chief executive appointment due soon

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
A publicly drawn-out saga will be in the rear view mirror of the Gore District Council when councillors finally confirm the appointment of a new chief executive.

The appointment is expected to be finalised at a public excluded meeting of the council on Tuesday.

Interim chief executive Stephen Parry resigned in September.

He was due to finish the position on October 31 but agreed to stay at the council while it recruited a new chief executive.

The council voted 9-3 to offer Mr Parry the role while it recruited.

He was then appointed as the interim chief executive.

The decision was met with criticism from the Gore community. However, councillors defended it.

Two petitions calling for his resignation had been tabled, one before his appointment as interim chief executive and one after, both unsuccessful.

In October 2022, Mr Parry’s contract with the council was extended, only two days before election day.

Mr Parry and Gore District Mayor Ben Bell had a reported turbulent relationship from the beginning.

In December 2022, an intermediary was appointed to work between them after the pair stopped talking.

The council then planned a review of the relationship in September of the next year but canned it, saying it would just bring up old dramas.

They saved $130,000 by not going ahead with the review.

Mr Parry will leave the council after 22 years, having joined as chief executive in September 2001.

During his local government career, he had served as president of Taituarā, when it was the Society of Local Government Managers.

He also served as the Australasian vice-president of ICMA, an international association for local government professionals.

In an email to staff in September, Mr Parry expressed his pride in serving as chief executive and the culture that had been forged at the council.

"I leave with no regrets and a fair degree of excitement about what lies ahead."