Trans­port leader moves to city hall

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

De­spite an in­ter­na­tional re­cruit­ment process the Auck­land Coun­cil has not strayed far in ap­point­ing its new chief ex­ec­u­tive.

Stephen Town, cur­rently the Auck­land and North­land re­gional di­rec­tor for the NZ Trans­port Agency, will take over from Doug McKay on Jan­uary 15.

He has been ap­pointed on a five-year con­tract, with a salary of $630,000 fixed for two years.

‘‘I am ab­so­lutely de­lighted with Stephen’s ap­point­ment,’’ mayor Len Brown says.

‘‘He is quite sim­ply the most qual­i­fied per­son to lead the or­gan­i­sa­tion through this next chal­leng­ing phase.

‘‘Stephen com­bines long ex­pe­ri­ence in lo­cal gov­ern­ment, with lead­er­ship of large in­fra­struc­ture projects and strong cred­i­bil­ity across gov­ern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor.’’

Mr Brown says Auck­land needs the very best to re­spond to the huge chal­lenges it faced in trans­port, hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity and fi­nan­cial man­age­ment.

‘‘And in Stephen we’ve got it. He is highly ex­pe­ri­enced, ab­so­lutely fo­cused on the task ahead and crys­tal-clear on the chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties for Auck­land.’’

He paid trib­ute to Mr McKay’s work in the cre­ation of the su­per-city.

‘‘Doug over­saw one of the most chal­leng­ing or­gan­i­sa­tional trans­for­ma­tions in New Zealand’s his­tory.’’

Mr Town was the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Tau­ranga City Coun­cil from 2002-2010 and from 1998-2002 held the equiv­a­lent po­si­tion in Franklin Dis­trict.

He says he is ready to con­tinue the work started three years ago.

‘‘This next phase in Auck­land’s trans­for­ma­tion will re­quire a re­lent­less fo­cus on de­liv­ery, ser­vice im­prove­ment and pru­dent fi­nan­cial man­age­ment.

‘‘We have a gen­uine op­por­tu­nity to make Auck­land the world’s most live­able city and I am de­lighted to be part of that pro­ject.’’

New chief: Stephen Town will start as the Auck­land Coun­cil’s chief ex­ec­u­tive on Jan­uary 15.

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