Council managers may lose jobs

SET TO BE AXED: Executive team member Peter Mitchell, former regulatory and democracy services general manager.
Dean Kozanic/Fairfax NZ
SET TO BE AXED: Executive team member Peter Mitchell, former regulatory and democracy services general manager.

Twenty Christchurch City Council managers are at risk of losing their jobs as the fallout from the council's consenting crisis continues.

The managers' positions are proposed to be disestablished as part of a major overhaul instigated by Crown manager Doug Martin to lift standards and improve the customer focus of the council's building control authority (BCA), which this year was stripped of its accreditation to issue building consents.

Among those whose positions are set to be axed is executive team member Peter Mitchell, who was the regulatory and democracy services general manager when the consenting crisis unfolded.

He has taken up a new role as a principal adviser to the council's chief executive to make way for a new general manager of building control and rebuild.   

The new general manager will report directly to the chief executive and will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the BCA's operation under Martin's restructuring plan.

The other managers whose positions are being disetablished will be able to apply for one of 32 new managerial roles that are proposed to be created, but they will have to compete against outside applicants.

Martin said the proposed structure represented a big step forward for the council and would eliminate many of the silos that had existed under the previous regime. It would be more customer-focused and user-friendly.

"It was clear in the terms of reference for the action plan on building control functions that change was needed to improve systems at the council," Martin said.

"If accepted, the proposed structure allows that to happen and will go a long way to putting the council's building consent systems back on the right track. That is what the community deserves and the rebuild demands."

By making all the managerial positions contestable, the council was creating the opportunity to not only bring through its best people but also to "attract the best talent from outside", said Martin, who hopes to have all the new positions filled by Christmas.

The Press