Jobs on line under council restructure

20:34, Mar 12 2014

Job losses are likely at the Christchurch City Council.

Council acting chief executive Jane Parfitt yesterday confirmed that staff are being consulted about a restructuring proposal that could result in some losing their jobs.

The affected staff work in the communications, marketing, civil defence and emergency management, elected members services, and international relations teams.

"There are provisions for job cuts but there are also provisions for new roles," Parfitt told The Press.

She would not provide details on the number of jobs at risk, stressing it was only a proposal at this stage.

When asked why the council would be cutting staff in the communications team when the organisation had been so heavily criticised in the past for its communication failures, Parfitt said: "It's not just about the head count; it's about how we do things."


There was scope to improve the way the council used its website to communicate and there were now also extra resources within the mayor's office that could be used to improve communications.

This latest round of restructuring was signalled to The Press in January when Parfitt confirmed she had hired Wellington management consultants Martin Jenkins to review how the teams, which all now report to the newly established Office of the Chief Executive, functioned.

"I don't know what's going to come out of it but we are looking for efficiencies. I've made no bones about that when talking to staff. Nothing is off the table in terms of coming up with the best structure," Parfitt warned at the time.

Late last year Parfitt used Martin Jenkins to help devise a new structure for the council's executive team. In that shake-up six general management roles were disestablished to make room for a new seven-strong executive team, four of whom will be focused on rebuild and recovery issues and three of whom will be focused on the council's day-to-day operations. Some of the new executive positions have been filled and an announcement on who will fill the remaining positions is expected soon.

Parfitt said all of the changes were aimed at ensuring the organisation could cope with the demands of Christchurch's $40 billion rebuild and was operating as efficiently as possible, given its tight financial situation.

She expected to reach a decision on the final structure of the teams by the end of month. Councillors had been briefed on the changes proposed.

The Press