Christchurch's Mayor maintains Council CEO Dawn Baxendale is the best person for the job.
The appointment of Birmingham City Council's CEO and her $495,000 pay packet has raised eyebrows.
Lianne Dalziel was overseas when news of the appointment was released early.
Canterbury Mornings' host Chris Lynch quizzed her today over why a New Zealander couldn't do the job for less, with the Mayor defending the decision saying their options were limited.
"If it had been a New Zealander to do the job for half as much, they wouldn’t have been capable of being the chief executive for the Christchurch City Council."
Out of the 38 applicants for the job, 13 were from overseas and 25 were local.