HQ split for Auckland move

New Zealand Cricket are splitting their long-established operation in Canterbury, moving the commercial and financial arm to Auckland, but keeping the high performance wing at Lincoln University.

Staff were told by chief executive David White yesterday about the move which may mean redundancy for some long-serving Christchurch-based employees. It is believed about half of the some 40-strong organisation will be asked to either shift to Auckland or reapply for jobs.

White would not confirm how many jobs were on the line, but said there would also be room for hiring too.

"It's too early to say [how many people will be affected], but the proposed restructure included the disestablishment of some roles and the creation of some new roles so we're just working through that at the moment," he said.

The move was financially motivated. "A key focus for us is to maximise and increase our revenues," he said. "It's a challenging time financially for all and we're looking at ways to maximise our revenues."

Being Auckland-based would also "improve our perception for stakeholders", White said.

"We believe it will provide clearer lines of responsibility, better accountability and increase leadership capability."

It is understood that no business plan was presented to staff showing that the operation would be more profitable operating out of Auckland than Christchurch. NZC lives primarily on the revenue streams generated from the massive sums television rights generate out of the subcontinent.

NZC has been based in Christchurch during its 117 years existence.

It moved into the professional era when Graham Dowling became its first fulltime secretary in the mid-1980s. His first assistant, Tim Murdoch, is still with the organisation 25 years later.

The body grew when the World Cup was staged in Australia and New Zealand in 1991-92 and expanded further after the Hood report in 1995.

Many saw the split coming when NZC chairman Chris Moller told The Press in October the CEO who replaced Justin Vaughan would not have to live in Christchurch nor were the organisation's headquarters guaranteed to remain there.

That followed the February 2011 earthquake when the city staff were shaken out of their Hereford St building and forced to relocate to Lincoln.

When he started in February, White dossed down at the High Performance Centre's pavilions and did not have his family move south.

This was another hint he would not be in the region permanently as his predecessors Vaughan and Martin Snedden had been.

However, there was no way the cricketing branch of the organisation would follow suit, White said.

"The high performance centre at Lincoln will remain at the heart of New Zealand Cricket and the majority of the staff will be here," he said.

"And all the on-field cricket functions will remain at this location."

The Press