Mayor Gary Kircher and the Councillor team are very pleased to announce that the successful
candidate and new Chief Executive Officer of Waitaki District Council is Mr. Alex Parmley, who will
commence work on the 19th of July, 2021.
Following the November 2020 announcement by current CEO, Fergus Power, that he was stepping
down from the role, the process of finding a replacement began with the Mayor and Councillors
engaging EQUIP Recruiting. Advertising commenced in January 2021 and resulted in 41 applicants with
a wide range of experience amongst them. A shortlist of 7 were interviewed by Council’s Executive
Committee who whittled that list down to three applicants. These three were interviewed by the full
Council, who identified the most suitable candidate for the role, as the team looks to deal with the
numerous challenges facing local government over the next five years.
Mr Parmley has been Chief Executive of South Somerset District Council in the United Kingdom since
2016. South Somerset has a much bigger population than Waitaki with approximately 170,000 people.
That isn’t the only difference though, as the council doesn’t have a Mayor but instead appoints a
Council Leader from its 60 Councillors, representing the various towns and parishes of the district.
“Whilst Alex will only have ten Councillors and a Mayor to direct him here in Waitaki, I am confident
that he will be challenged in a very positive way with the aspirations and goals we have for our
district,” said Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher. “We wanted someone who is strong on growing an
excellent organisational culture; someone who will build connections in the community and help both
Council and community flourish. But most importantly, Alex has experience in areas that local
government in New Zealand will likely soon become more involved in, helping central government fill
the gaps that their ministries and departments sometimes struggle to do on a local level.”
After working out his notice period in the UK, Mr Parmley will arrive in New Zealand where he will
carry out his period of quarantine with his wife, who is a Kiwi, and four children. He will then get
settled into the Waitaki district before formally beginning work on July 19.
Mr Parmley said he was excited about what was going to be a huge lifestyle change.
“I am thrilled to
be joining Waitaki District Council and heading up the staff team; and am excited to get started in my
new role in July.
The district has some wonderful communities which I am looking forward to learning more about
and working for. It is an interesting time for Waitaki District Council and local government more
generally in New Zealand. The Council and its staff have a good reputation and are ambitious for what
they want to achieve for the district’s residents. This attracted me to the role and will be a solid platform for realising the opportunities for the district and dealing with challenges ahead. I am looking
forward to immersing myself into the district, and to working with the Mayor, Councillors, colleagues,
partners and communities to help take the council and the district forward.
“The move to Waitaki also marks a return home to New Zealand for my wife Elizabeth. We are really
pleased to be bringing our young family to Waitaki and to playing an active part in community life.”