Jobs go, created in council shake-up

A structural shake-up at Manawatu District Council has resulted in more jobs being created than culled.

Chief executive Lorraine Vincent led a review of council staffing, reassessing the relevance of each role to meet the demands of a modern council. The review identified 37 positions to be disestablished and 44 new roles needed. Eleven people have taken redundancy, 27 have been appointed internally to new positions, and 17 vacant positions are still to be filled.

"In effect we have added more jobs - but different jobs," Vincent said.

She would not give a cost for the redundancies and the restructuring process, but said it would have an impact on the next financial year.

"Not everything is about cost. This is about working efficiently and having people using their skills and knowledge . . . It is a ‘cross-organisation' approach. That is the big driver. The new structure gives us more flexibility and nimbleness.

"There will be less duplication, such as the business hub, which will have much more multi-skilling. It will allow us more opportunity to nab the golden opportunities when they come. Our general managers will have more time to work on strategies rather than be bound up with the ‘nuts and bolts'."

Vincent said some of the outcomes of the restructuring would be greater customer focus and a sharpening of how quickly the council would get back to its community and customers.

"The reorganisation will [put the council] in a better position to face the challenges of the local government sector over the next five to 10 years.

"People expect a 24-hour turnaround when they make inquiries. We need to be more relevant, smarter, make better use of technology, to recognise that our customers' expectations around service and access and availability of information and opportunities have changed radically over the last two decades."

The new structure takes effect on June 3. "There may be some lumps and bumps during the transition and I ask our community to be patient. We will do our best to ensure business as usual is maintained."

For most staff who took redundancy, Friday will be their last day on the job.

Manawatu Standard