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Three more senior appointments at Christchurch City Council

12 December 2003

Lesley McTurk, the Christchurch City Council chief executive, has announced to staff the appointments of three more senior managers. Each is an internal appointment.

Engineer Kevin Mara, a senior council project manager, becomes Manager of City Solutions; Lesley Symington, a senior recreation adviser, becomes Manager of Community and Recreation; and Ken Lawn, currently director of operations, has accepted a fixed-term position as Transition Manager.

The three appointments announced on Friday morning follow nine already announced by Dr McTurk. Following the announcement in mid-September of a new organisation structure, 18 new positions were publicly advertised.

  • The new City Council structure has seven main groups (City Environment, Community Services, Strategic Development, Regulation and Democracy Services, Public Affairs, Corporate Services and Human Resources), each headed by a general manager reporting to Dr McTurk. The manager titles refer to those heading units within the groups.
  • The City Solutions consultancy sits in the Strategic Development Group. It is responsible for the project management and implementation of the Council’s capital works programme. City Solutions specialises in the planning, engineering, design and construction of urban spaces infrastructure and facilities. Its operational and management systems are based on private business standards and practices. Its primary clients are units of the City Council and it also provides urban design services to local bodies throughout the country. More information is on the web, at
  • Ms Symington’s Community and Recreation Unit sits in the Community Services Group, which also includes Christchurch City Libraries and the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu. In her new role Ms Symington takes responsibility for the CCC’s social housing services as well as the community development and leisure activities the Council funds.


1) Process: After consultation, Dr McTurk decided on a new organisation structure for the top two tiers of the City Council staff. Affected were 19 senior management positions which had reported to the previous City Manager. Of those, 11 roles were disestablished and eight people were confirmed in new positions (because the new positions were significantly similar to their existing roles).

2) Rationale: In announcing the new structure in September Dr McTurk said her goal was to prepare the local body to deliver on the requirements of the new Local Government Act and create a structure to align the organisation around the strategic outcomes the City Council is seeking to achieve.

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