Top Wellington City Council positions dumped

01:27, Jun 29 2012
Wendy Walker
Wendy Walker, citizen engagement director.

Three top-level management positions have been axed as Wellington City Council starts restructuring in a bid to save cash.

Staff were told today that infrastructure director Stavros Michael, strategy, planning and urban design director Teena Pennington and citizen engagement director Wendy Walker's positions would be disestablished.

The management team had been asked to reapply for positions in the restructuring move, which brings the number of senior director positions at the council down to six from eight with one job still vacant.

Mr Poole declined to comment on the announcement, but confirmed last week that the organisation was looking to make savings amid a tough financial climate.

''I am currently conducting a review of my senior executive team. Then from July, I, along with senior management, undertake an extensive review of the council's existing structure of business units. This process will take about two to three months.''

He said it would be speculation to put a number on potential job losses but redundancies have already been confirmed in the council's works unit CitiOperations, where about 35 staff have lost their jobs as drainage maintenance responsibilities are moved to private contractor CityCare.

Councillor Bryan Pepperell said the organisation had to face the reality that it had lived beyond its needs.

The management of the council was the responsibility of Mr Poole and job losses were inevitable as large rates rises were contemplated.

''Garry Poole's having to make some pretty tough decisions and a lot of them have been down to the financial crisis we're in,'' he said.

''You can't operate on the institutional memory of one or two people... we haven't lived within our means and now the birds are coming home to roost, aren't they?''

Contact Shane Cowlishaw
Employment and justice reporter
Email: shane.cowlishaw@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @scowlishaw

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Wendy Walker
Teena Pennington, urban design director.
Wendy Walker
Infrastructure director Stavros Michael.

The Dominion Post