New IT manager for Thames-Coromandel

Thames-Coromandel District Council has a new IT manager, Murray Foster, who steps into a role abruptly vacated by his predecessor.

Thames-Coromandel District Council has a new IT manager, Murray Foster, who steps into a role abruptly vacated by his predecessor.

The former IT manager, who went by the name of Annette Hema and is also believed to also have used the name Annette Heraghty, left the council in December after she was asked to attend a meeting with council management to discuss allegations she had a fraud conviction.

Council chief executive Steve Ruru told Computerworld earlier this year that there was no evidence she had a conviction, but she failed to turn up to the meeting and never returned to work at the council.

Ruru confirmed that a supplier to the council provided the information about the alleged conviction but declined to name the supplier.

He said in February that some council property had gone missing in the wake of Hema’s departure but, speaking to Computerworld last week, referred all questions on the matter to the police.

Thames-Coromandel police detective sergeant Del Reid confirmed police are following up a complaint laid by the council about missing property.

He says the complaint involves “more than one item of property” but wouldn’t disclose the nature of the property. He says steps are being taken to locate Hema, who is believed to be in Australia.

While the council was without a full-time IT manager database manager, Lee Aholima acted in the role. Gen-i, a contractor to the council, provided extra support.

Murray Foster started in the IT manager’s role on April 19. He moved from Wellington, where he had worked for the Simpl Group and Unisys.

Foster says a desire to “move away from a vendor environment” prompted the decision to bring his family from the capital to Thames.

“I wanted a role that didn’t involve selling solutions or being measured on profit margins.”

He says he’s looking forward to developing the council’s information management strategy and upcoming projects include implementing a JD Edwards-PeopleSoft financials package, upgrading the land information system to Geac Pathway, upgrading network links to the council’s Whitianga and Whangamata service centres and revamping the council’s website.

The council recently went live with a Network Appliance storage system and is moving to an environment based on six blade servers.

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