Wellington City Council CEO Kevin Lavery to walk away from top job

Said to be frustrated with Wellington's lack of progress, city council chief executive Kevin Lavery dropped a bombshell on Thursday by not seeking re-appointment.

The timing of his announcement - just over a month out from the local body elections - is considered pointed by observers.

Lavery, who has been in the top job for six years, informed Wellington City councillors on Thursday morning.

It comes on the back of several other Executive Leadership Team members having resigned recently, including director of human resources Nicola Brown, head of communications Denise McKay and director of strategy and governance Kane Patena.

Signs of Lavery's resignation have been building for months, and increased significantly after his chief of staff, Kaine Thompson, quit.

Informed sources point to a very strained relationship between Lavery and Wellington mayor Justin Lester and some elected councillors as a major factor for the decision.

They also pointed to the timing before an election, saying Lavery opted to not take the expected soft exit after the election.

The chief executive is believed to be highly frustrated with the pace of progress on several city projects, including Let's Get Wellington Moving.

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