The husband of Queenstown’s mayor isn’t ruling himself out of a heavyweight new council job – despite council’s boss seeming to.
Queenstown mayor Vanessa van Uden’s hubby Peter Laurenson may apply for a new planning and development general manager position proposed under a council restructure.
It would oversee all planning and district plan management plus Lakes Environmental building and resource consent duties. LE is being disestablished and its functions brought in-house.
In the wake of LE chief executive Hamish Dobbie’s sudden resignation last week, Laurenson – LE’s building manager – has been appointed acting chief executive.
Asked yesterday if he’s considering going for the new planning and development general manager job, Laurenson says: “Not directly. I haven’t ruled it out but I haven’t ruled it in either.”
Laurenson says he’s fortunate his building manager job still exists under the proposal and “that’s plan A” but he can’t make a final call till the restructure is finalised.
Council chief executive Adam Feeley, expected to finalise it by April 30, appears to rule Laurenson out of the planning gig.
Feeley: “As currently drafted, this position requires a senior planning practitioner which Mr Laurenson is not.”
Told that, Laurenson says: “Yeah, that’s the way I read it – but I don’t think there’s anything that stops anyone applying for any of those jobs. It’s a good indication of what the council is looking for but people might have a different view based on their skills.”
Feeley this week began considering staff submissions on the restructure, which recommends axing 80 roles – almost 42 fulltime equivalent positions – out of 334, contributing to annual savings of at least $2 million.
Feeley says more than 50 submissions show overwhelming support for the direction of the council review: “That’s not to say there was unanimity on everything – some valid points for different approaches have been put forward and there are some recommendations which individuals strongly disagree with.
“I’ve no doubt staff want this change to work as much as the council and mayor … the level of support for change far exceeds what I’ve seen in previous restructurings,” Feeley says.