Kapiti calls tech managers

The Kapiti Coast District Council is looking for someone to manage its computer networks system, and help it buy appropriate new technology.

Title: Technology manager , Kapiti Coast District Council

Function: Manage the council’s computing and computer networks system and help it buy appropriate new systems and technology

Description: Number two in three-member division, reporting to the information services manager

Dosh: $40,000-$55,000

The lifestyle of the Kapiti Coast beckons for the new technology manager of the Kapiti Coast District Council.

Based 50km north of Wellington, the post is for someone looking to mix hands-on IT work with planning, within the council’s finance and administration department, says information services manager Phil Caton.

The successful candidate will run and develop the IT section that supports about 100 desktop PCs, based on Unix and Windows, that deliver core applications like financial and regulatory systems, internet, intranet and office applications.

Over the next year, Caton says the council aims to move to a Windows 2000 platform, standardise desktops and automate support functions. Subject to the successful candidate’s ability, the technology manager will also be responsible for developing a virtual private network.

Caton is in charge of the $500,000 IT budget, but he expects the manager to have “input”. He hopes to attract someone looking for “lifestyle” but who has “attitude, aptitude and common sense”, as well as exposure to NT and Unix.

The person would be expected to advise on IT buying policies, identify training opportunities for staff to ensure they make the most of technology, monitor and review systems, and advise on council technology strategies. There is also room for some development work.

Caton says the role offers “high job interest rather than high pay”, with a fifth of it involving repetitive work, the remainder being self-managed work - “whatever the person feels is necessary to further the IT section”.

“There’s not a lot of supervision; this is a job to get on with,” he says.

The role has “a sizeable training budget” and the council expects to train the candidate in Windows 2000. The new manager should also be the type of person to call for help if stuck, rather than stew developing a solution, as “keeping the ship going” is all-important. It is unlikely a backroom techie will succeed, as personable skills are needed to work with council inspectors, plumbers and similar people.

The successful candidate is also likely to be in lower-middle management, possibly in a desk-based role, but finding themselves turned off by office politics, for example. “And this is a lifestyle job. There is no career path until I fall over,” Caton says.

The salary is $40,000 to $60,000, though Caton doubts the council will pay over $55,000 so as to leave room for pay rises.

By last week, he had received about 15 applications, including one late entrant to the IT world who had previously run their own business. “That person should be a bit more streetwise than a 23- or 24-year-old on their way up,” Caton adds.

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