Christchurch City Council boss’ shock resignation

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Nov 19, 2023 |

Christchurch City Council Boss Dawn Baxendale has quit the council.

She handed in her notice on 6 November.

Baxendale started at the Council in October 2019, after moving from the United Kingdom where she held senior local government positions.

She was employed at Christchurch City on a five-year contract, which finishes in October 2024.

In a statement she said was leaving before her contract expires for personal reasons.

She decided not to reapply for a further five-year contract at the Council.

“The Council is developing its Long-Term Plan for the next 10 years and it is appropriate for a new manager to lead the organisation through the development and implementation of this plan,” she said.

“I leave feeling extremely proud of what we have achieved at the Council over the past four years during what has been a very challenging time.

“At all times I have been very mindful of my responsibility to councillors, staff and residents of our wonderful city.

“My emphasis has always been on delivering services to our residents, while at the same time ensuring prudent financial management.”

“I have enjoyed working for both the Council and the city. I would like to thank the very dedicated staff I have worked alongside for their support and their commitment to residents.”

Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger said the Council accepted Mrs Baxendale’s resignation at its meeting on Wednesday 15 November where it also discussed the next steps in the recruitment of a new Chief Executive.

“During her time at the Council, Dawn has overseen significant decisions for our city,” the Mayor said.

“There have also been major challenges and opportunities for the Council including the Covid pandemic and lockdown, the development of Te Kaha and improving the Council’s credit rating with Standard and Poors. Dawn’s leadership helped us get through these tough times and seize the opportunities.

“I want to note my personal thanks for her service, integrity and hard work during her time here in Christchurch. We wish her and her husband Scott and family all the very best for the next chapter.

Baxendale’s last day coincides with the end of her annual leave on 30 November.

Mary Richardson, General Manager Citizens and Community and acting General Manager Infrastructure, Planning and Regulatory Services, has been appointed Interim Chief Executive. She will hold this position until a new Chief Executive is appointed.

The Council will now begin the recruitment process for a replacement.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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