The Whangarei District Council says controversy is not the reason it has dropped its long-serving chief executive.
It has chosen to replace Mark Simpson, who had been with the council for 16 years.
Mr Simpson was strongly criticised by the Employment Relations Authority for sacking his assistant during council elections, after she nominated a mayoral candidate.
But Mayor Sheryl Mai said that wasn't behind the council's decision.
"I don't think that came into our deliberations at any point at all. Because we were looking at the calibre of the candidates and looking for the best person for the job.
"We're bringing in a new leader and will be on a great path forward for our district."
Ms Mai said the council's new chief executive had local government experience and would be announced shortly.