Former Rodney District Council chief executive Rodger Kerr-Newell, who is under investigation by the West Australian Corruption and Crime Commission, has been sacked as chief executive of Halls Creek Shire Council.
The termination comes in the wake of the commission’s investigation into allegations relating to the disclosure and management of conflicts of interest, the misuse of leave entitlements and the mismanagement of procurement processes.
Shire president Malcolm Edwards did not respond to calls or emails from Mahurangi Matters, but the broadcaster ABC Kimberley understands that the council refused to accept Mr Kerr-Newell’s resignation, instead opting to terminate his contract.
Mr Kerr-Newell faced a day-and-a-half of questioning by the commission in late April, which was live-streamed online. During the examination, he was asked about the appointment of his NZ girlfriend,
Bronwyn Little, to a strategic planning position he created, the procedure for letting a council tender for six new vehicles and his accrual of more than 600 hours of annual leave after claiming time-in-lieu that he was not entitled to in his contract.
The commission also examined his use of council time and resources to carry out work for NZ Windfarms, a company that he chairs.
Before moving to Australia, Mr Kerr-Newell worked for Hutt City, New Plymouth District Council and finally, Rodney. He ran a private consultancy company before taking up the position of chief executive at Halls Creek Shire four years ago.
During his tenure at Halls Creek, he recruited a number of former colleagues from NZ, including Lloyd Barton from Rodney. The commission is now preparing a report for Parliament.