City council employs four rebuild managers

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 13:10 13/12/2013
Jane Parfitt
KIRK HARGREAVES/Fairfax NZ
THE BOSS: Acting Christchurch City Council chief executive Jane Parfitt.

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A plan to shake-up the Christchurch City Council's senior management team has been finalised.

Acting council chief executive Jane Parfitt has confirmed she is disestablishing six general management roles and creating a new seven-strong executive team. Four of the executive team will be focused on rebuild and recovery issues and three focused on the council's day-to-day operations.

The shake-up is the first major restructuring undertaken at the council since 2003 and is designed to ensure the organisation can cope with the demands of Christchurch's $40 billion rebuild.

Despite the new structure only being confirmed today, the council has already partly put the new executive team in place.

Peter Sparrow, a senior manager with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, has been appointed director of building control and city rebuild. The council's strategy and planning general manager, Michael Theelen, will become the Future Christchurch chief planning officer.

The council is expected to announce next week the appointment of a new chief financial officer and recruitment for the other four positions - council facilities and infrastructure rebuild director, chief operating officer, corporate services director, and Office of the Chief Executive director -  will begin immediately.

The aim is to have the new structure in place by the end of March.

Parfitt said she was confident of attracting very high calibre people into the new roles. She based this on  based on the experience the council had with recruiting a chief financial officer.

''I'm confident that people will see these positions as a chance of a lifetime. There seems to be an enthusiasm from professional people to come to Christchurch and work for the council.''

Parfitt said the new management structure would ensure the organisation was ''fit for purpose'' and in the best position possible to deliver the rebuild and recovery of the city.She confirmed the changes were the first step in a wider process. The new executive team would need to put in place structures that allowed them to deliver their responsibilities efficiently, effectively and in a way that was mindful of the financial challenges the council faced.

''There will be future structural changes that affect the wider organisation when new managers are in place to lead this.''

Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel said the new council supported the changes Parfitt was making.

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"The direction this change signals is an important one,'' the mayor said.

''The council must be focused on the rebuild and to do this, we need strong relationships with key partners. The financial challenges facing the city are clear and our council is backing a shift to put a stronger focus on the finances and insurance. It makes sense to place specific responsibility on the new chief financial officer to drive savings and pursue investment in the rebuild."

- © Fairfax NZ News

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