Council boss undecided on whether she will reapply

Karleen Edwards

City council chief Karleen Edwards remains tight-lipped as to whether she will reapply for her job.

Dr Edwards’ five-year fixed-term contract expires in June and the city council is advertising for a new chief executive, applications closing on March 18.

“The chief executive has not yet made a decision about whether she will reapply for the job,” a spokesperson said.

She previously said she would make a decision by the end of February.

Applications for the chief executive role, which earned Dr Edwards $414,987 in the year to June 2018, is being recruited by Wellington-based consultants JacksonStone.

“This is a high-profile leadership position, having oversight of a large operational organisation that is both far-reaching and complex,” the job advertisement said.

“The appointee will work in partnership with the mayor and councillors, and key stakeholders, to ensure the vision for the city and the strategic directions are delivered on, at the same time as getting the basics done.”

It said the chief executive would need to be a “visible leader” who would engage with the city’s community and business groups and strategic partners.

The role is ultimately appointed by the mayor and city councillors. The successful applicant then appoints their own executive leadership team.

Dr Edwards is a psychiatrist turned administrator who joined city council in 2014.

She was deputy chief executive of the Canterbury District Health Board from 2001 to 2007.

Before starting at the city council, Dr Edwards held chief executive roles in Adelaide and Melbourne.

In October, Dr Edwards made an apology for management issues that saw city councillors, senior leaders and the public left in the dark about the state of the city’s drinking water system for seven months, leading to chlorination.

She was also blamed for the secrecy regarding the cost of Turanga’s $1.2 million touch wall.