Former Tauranga City Council chief executive officer Ken Paterson is to be given a private family funeral this Saturday followed by cremation.
The 61-year-old died in his sleep on Sunday night leaving behind his wife Melanie, son Finley, 3, and three month old twins Mackenzie and Elliott.
Former Tauranga CEO Ken Paterson was the project manager behind Toll Stadium.
He also has two children from an earlier marriage in his homeland of Scotland.
“This is a very difficult time and the family appreciates being given the time and space to mourn the devastating loss of Ken,” says Ken’s brother in law Malcolm Johns.
Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby says the council is still considering a memorial service for Ken.
“Our current feeling is first and foremost to respect the family’s wishes, because they desire to have a private funeral - which is totally understandable - we need to consider a memorial service for staff and others, but that will not proceed without the permission, acknowledgement and support of the of the family particularly Melanie.
“It may happen at some point there’s no fixed date.”
Stuart says meanwhile Ken’s work on restructuring the Tauranga City Council continues.
“What we will do is wait for at least a fortnight purely out of respect for Ken and his family before we consider our options,” says Stuart.
“In the meantime Christine Jones who is deputy chief executive officer, will be acting CEO. That was put in place by Ken some time ago.
Work on reshaping the council’s inner workings is set to begin on July 1.
“The reason for that - is sometimes restructuring an organisation has costs attached to it. The CEO was always keen that the financial benefits also accrued in that same year so there was no cost in that particular year.
“He had also started an earlier project about efficiencies and effectiveness within the organisation. The restructuring project was basically for better value, and that went right throughout the whole organisation. It was encouraging all the budget managers and all the staff if they saw a better value to speak up and put it forward. That got a fantastic response from our staff.”
Australasian consultants Morrison Low met with the councillors last week in a confidential meeting, says Stuart.
“That was all just to get the project going. It’s really about some key principles in a restructure that you look at. The councillors agreed and acknowledged that there were some important principals.
“That really what it was, it wasn’t detailed at all that work it was very much a high level principle presentation.”
Morrison Low offers local authorities expertise on operational reviews, infrastructure management, asset management, financial consulting, and a bunch of other review criteria.
Morrison Low previously reviewed options for improving local government in Northland, for the Northland Regional Council.
Other work for NRC included a review to identify future goals and aspirations for economic development for Northland and assessment of current economic development in relation to delivery of these, and a general performance review of the council.
Ken is named as the reference contact.
Other New Zealand clients include Manukau City Council, New Plymouth District Council the NZ Defence Force and the New Zealand Transport Agency.
“The elected members are still focussed on resetting this organisation for the future, it’s currently set for the past,” says Stuart.
“We are committed to carry on that work. The feedback I’ve had from a lot of staff is they are keen to do it as well.
“Hopefully that will be a sound and robust legacy for Ken.”
The Scottish born engineer leaves a more tangible legacy in Northland where he was the regional council’s CEO for four years.
Ken project managed the multi-purpose $18million Toll Stadium, delivering it on time and on budget.
Two Rugby World Cup matches were held at the new stadium in 2011.
"Ken had made a significant difference in efficiencies on the council,” says Northern Regional Council chairman Craig Brown this week.
“He was a real goer and worked from daylight to dusk. He was a tough man and he didn’t suffer fools gladly.”
Craig’s predecessor Mark Farnsworth says Ken refocused the Northern Regional Council away from a ‘silo mentality’ between its structures to a more inclusive approach, achieving dialogue across the whole organisation.