Council’s new chief named

Deborah Lascelles. Photo: supplied
Deborah Lascelles. Photo: supplied
A woman with considerable local government experience has secured the top job at the Gore District Council.

Yesterday the council appointed Deborah Lascelles as only its third chief executive in 35 years.

She begins in the role on June 3, replacing Stephen Parry, who has had the role for 22 years.

Ms Lascelles has worked at the South Waikato District Council for the past two years, initially as group manager community and corporate, and then as executive manager strategy and transformation.

She has also held senior roles with Waipa District Council and Hamilton City Council.

Ms Lascelles said she was thrilled to be joining the team at the council.

"I am looking forward to getting to know the communities within the district, getting to know staff and getting stuck in to what is shaping up to be a busy time for local government over the next few years."

The council received 74 applications from throughout New Zealand and overseas for the position.

Gore District Mayor Ben Bell said the quality of applications had been outstanding.

"We were pleasantly surprised with the number of professionals who saw the council as a progressive organisation and Gore as a great place to enjoy a career and lifestyle."

Ms Lascelles had the experience and skill set to lead the council, he said.

"She is a strategic thinker, skilled at building strong community relationships and leading large teams.’’

Recruitment agency Brannigans and the council’s recruitment panel chose five preferred candidates to be interviewed by councillors in Queenstown.

"When we compared flights, travel and venue costs between Gore, Invercargill and Queenstown, the latter was considerably cheaper," Mr Bell said.