QLDC’s new boss

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Long-serving Queenstown Lakes District Council chief executive Duncan Field says he’s “entirely comfortable” about being replaced.

Queenstown Lakes District Council today announced the appointment of a new chief executive to the $280,000-a-year role.

Debra Lawson, the group chief executive of the Wandle Housing Group in South London who has also represented Great Britain in triathlon at six World Champs, takes over from Field in March.

Mayor Clive Geddes says QLDC has offered Lawson the position and she’s accepted.

Field, in the role for 12-years, wished Lawson well and in working with a staff he described as “excellent”.

“I am entirely comfortable with the decision and I am very much looking forward to spending some time relaxing with my family,” Field says.

Geddes pays tribute to Field.

“I want to take the opportunity to thank Duncan for the enormous contribution he has made to this council and the Lakes District over the last decade and more. His work has been invaluable,” Geddes says.

Lawson says she’s delighted to be joining the community and looking forward to serving Lakes District ratepayers in an exciting and challenging role.

She moved to New Zealand earlier this year and currently resides in Kapiti, near Wellington.

Her previous roles are:
– Chair of the Board of Directors, Windsor Housing Association 1993-1997 (board member 1993-2002)
– Director Sustainable Energy Action and Renewable Energy in the Urban Environment 2005-2009
– Company Secretary Women’s Pioneer Housing 1988-2005
– Southwark Local Strategic Partnership 2003-2006
– Housing Corporation Statutory Appointee 2005-2009.

In November, the Queenstown’s Chamber of Commerce controversially released a statement telling QLDC it was “time for a change” of chief executive.

The chamber call reflected a poll – commissioned by Mountain Scene – in which two-thirds of those with an opinion didn’t want Field reappointed.