Hamilton City Council Chief Executive Richard Briggs will leave the organisation when his contract expires in mid-October.
Briggs confirmed today he will not reapply for his job and instead will leave the local government sector completely. His decision will bring his nine-year association with Hamilton City Council to an end.
Briggs joined the organisation from Fonterra in 2012 as Chief Financial Officer under former Chief Executive Barry Harris. He was appointed Chief Executive in 2014 during Julie Hardaker’s mayoralty and has been in the top job ever since.
Briggs said today he intends staying in Hamilton close to family and friends but has no plans to remain in the local government sector. He is looking at “two or three” commercial opportunities but had not yet made a decision on future plans.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time in local government, partly because I came into it with a very commercial, get-things-done approach. But I’m looking forward to pursuing things I’m passionate about and returning to a more commercial environment.”
He had been mulling over his future plans since Christmas and had landed in the right place, he said.
“Deciding not to reapply for what I still consider one of the biggest and best jobs in Hamilton has not been easy. But I’m comfortable with my decision not to put myself up for the role again. I know my team has achieved a lot but it’s time for someone else to take the lead,” he said.
“Hamilton City Council is in a very good place and widely considered one of the most influential and effective councils in the country. I’m really proud of that. Whoever takes up the job will have an outstanding organisation behind them and a city with massive potential to help shape and grow. It’s a fantastic opportunity for someone and I wish them the very best.”
Mayor Paula Southgate said she and other Councillors appreciated Briggs advising them of his intentions early, at the beginning of the recruitment process for a Chief Executive. Council chief executives are generally employed on a five-year basis with a possible two-year extension. After that time, councils must legally readvertise the roles.
“Elected Members will be very sorry to see Richard move on but we understand his desire to seek new opportunities. Richard has been there during some very challenging times for local government and we have valued his strategic approach,” Southgate said.
“His departure will be a loss to the sector and he will be missed by staff and Councillors alike. But I appreciate the fact that Richard has, as always, been very professional and very upfront. Over the next six months, his focus will be on leaving the organisation in the best possible shape for his successor and I know he will do that.”
Southgate confirmed Council has already engaged a recruitment agency, Kerridge, to help identify potential candidates for the Chief Executive role.