Ben Day's Position Clarified
Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 12:45PM
Bill Barclay

Those who follow the minuitae of Council workings will be interested in the move of Ben Day to the now full-time Economic Development Manager role.

He was originally employed to run the Council's PR group which soon grew to about five from the previous single position that managed all of the communications. Ben rapidly impressed the new CE and the Mayor to the stage where he was allocated responsibility for Economic Development as well.

He clearly felt very comfortable in the role and drew up the Economic Development Action Plan 2014/18 on which I made a very critical post back on 4 November. Ben has a Masters degree in business from Massey - apparently taken while employed by Christchurch City in a communications role.  

His take on economic development is not one with which I am particularly enamoured, and is accompanied by bells and whistles that would frighten the pants off most business entrepreneurs with whom I am familiar. I don't think many would be impressed by his Plan, but Council have, or are about to adopt it, so it will become the template for the immediate future. It will be interesting to see just how well it has achieved its aims in five years, but Ben may well have moved on to higher places by then.

His role as Communications Manager has been taken over by Laurna White who  has a strong background in TV and radio journalism. She appears to have adopted a far lower key approach to the task than her predecessor, and I think a number of us will be grateful for that. I have noticed that PR releases are less flamboyant, contain less B/S, and are more strategic than was the case when Ben was in charge. Long may it last.

In the meantime, best wishes to Ben in his new role - he does not lack confidence, and he appears to have wide support within the Castle. 




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