The new Central Otago District Council (CODC) chief executive will not be a local civil defence controller as his predecessor was.

At the last council meeting CODC chief executive Peter Kelly said he would not take on the role, as it was better to have someone taking a wider view than those immersed in the event.

Civil defence emergency management adviser Derek Shaw recommended CODC property and facilities manager Garreth Robinson join group manager community vision Dylan Rushbrook and planning and infrastructure group manager Louise van der Voort as the third local controller.

Both Ms van der Voort and Mr Rushbrook were members of the executive management team and were often out of the district. Having a nonexecutive third controller provided good coverage and flexibility depending on event and impacts on the organisation. A recent example of when Ms van der Voort was overseas and Mr Rushbrook in Dunedin highlighted that three people were the ideal, he said.

Mr Robinson’s role did not require him to be away from the district. The cost of his training for the role would be met from the civil defence budget.

Mayor Tim Cadogan asked if anything was required to remove former chief executive Sanchia Jacobs, who had remained in the role since leaving the council.

Mr Rushbrook said Ms Jacobs was a trained controller and it would be wise to keep her there.

Mr Kelly said he would not take up a controller role in any event, significant or otherwise.

‘‘I think the chief executive needs to focus . . . on the needs of their organisation and push it in the direction it needs to go to in the crisis while the emergency controllers are dealing with the immediate aftermath of what is going on. Typically up and down the country, I think, sometimes the chief executive gets too immersed in the crisis and there’s no-one really standing back to be able to push forward the organisation and other agencies in the right direction.’’

Mr Shaw said he agreed, having been in Queenstown during the state of emergency caused by the outbreak of cryptosporidium

‘‘Business as usual continues. It may be a small or a large part of what is happening but business does continue.’’

In a civil defence emergency management context a local controller is the person that controls both declared and undeclared emergencies within the CODC area in accordance with the Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS) and the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002.

The local controller reports to the group civil defence controller within the Otago Civil Defence Management Group (Matt Alley).

Training for local controllers is undertaken within the Otago Civil Defence Emergency Management training structure and through a territory qualification with specialist educational provider Response & Recovery Aotearoa New Zealand (RRANZ) and Massey University.