Senior Queenstown Lakes District Council staff will review
before Christmas ''a number'' of options for new council
headquarters in the resort.
Council chief executive Adam Feeley, general manager Stewart
Burns and Lakes Environmental chief executive Hamish Dobbie
will review the undisclosed number of responses submitted by
interested parties, mostly from within the district, by the
deadline last Friday.
They will meet one or more respondents to get clarity of
costs, building times and other details for assessment in a
review likely to last one or two months. If there is a
preferred option, it will be submitted as a recommendation to
the council, although none of the options may be backed.
''Quality is important, from our point of view, and the
quality appears to be very good in terms of the proposals,''
Mr Feeley said.
''Cost neutrality'' and ''operational efficiency'' were his
two overriding considerations, he said.
A total of 82 council staff and 75 Lakes Environmental staff
are spread over six locations in Queenstown, which was
inefficient in moving from one office to another, in the need
for multiple support services and in how people communicated
''I think co-location of all council staff is an extremely
desirable outcome and if we can do that with relative cost
neutrality, then that's the primary goal,'' Mr Feeley said.
''How it's achieved depends on the responses."
Mr Feeley said he and the council wanted a building provided
which would have comparable annual leasing costs to what the
council paid now, but better functionality and under one
As to whether it would be more cost-effective for the council
to own its headquarters instead of paying rent, Mr Feeley
said there was the philosophical issue of whether the council
should own buildings, and it was up to the council to decide
the trade-off of capital costs, probably funded by rates and
loans, and the ongoing management of the building.
Mr Feeley said he had taken a personal interest in the
project because of the large costs associated with it.
''Fundamentally, for me, this is not an exercise in creating
some special accommodation for council staff.
''It is a practical exercise in managing the organisation
effectively and it is very hard to manage effectively when
staff are spread in such an ad hoc manner.
''It remains to be seen if any of these options fly, but if
they do, we'll make sure they deliver the benefits to council