Pete beats mayor out door


The revolving door of Queenstown Lakes District Council senior managers has claimed a high-profile victim - the mayor’s husband.

Building services manager Peter Laurenson - whose wife is mayor Vanessa van Uden - tendered his resignation this week.

Laurenson, who’s headed the council’s building permit-issuing department for more than 12 years, is likely to leave towards the end of the year.

He’s refusing at this point to reveal why he’s pulling the pin.

“There’s always reasons,” he says.

One reason he’s ruling out, though, is his department’s increased workload in the wake of the district’s “staggering” building boom.

The 48-year-old says he’s looking for a new job. Whether he continues to sit on a couple of building industry boards “will depend if I’m still in the exact same industry, which I’m hopeful will be the case”.

Laurenson was originally building boss for council’s privately-owned regulatory contractor CivicCorp.

He carried on the role when council-controlled organisation Lakes Environmental took over.

After the council announced that Lakes Environmental would be brought back in-house, he served as its acting chief executive for several months.

His department was virtually the only area left alone during council’s substantial restructuring in 2013, which culled 36.22 full-time equivalent jobs.

Early this year, Mountain Scene revealed that four out of eight senior managers appointed after the restructure had already left or given notice.

Laurenson’s departure from council will precede his wife’s - Van Uden has said she’ll vacate the mayoralty at next October’s local body elections.