The Queenstown Lakes District Council offices on Gorge
Road, Queenstown. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
More than 100 staff from the Queenstown Lakes District
Council and its two former council-controlled organisations are
directly affected by yesterday's ''disestablishment'' of about
40 full-time equivalent positions.
Staff in disestablished positions could apply for a new job
and if unsuccessful would be given notice and their positions
terminated over the next few months.
The earliest a staff member would lose their jobs was on July
1 when the disestablishment took effect.
Chief executive Adam Feeley met council, Lakes Leisure and
Lakes Environmental staff, with Wanaka staff linked by video
and teleconference, yesterday.
Asked about the mood at the meetings, Mr Feeley said he
thought it was ''pretty philosophical''.
The staff did not have the final organisational review report
at the time, but would read it and see the changes made from
''By and large most people were taking a positive view of
this,'' Mr Feeley said.
''I think a lot of people want to stay with the council and
the feedback during submissions was generally very supportive
''People want to see the council operating in a different way
and understand the need for change at a general level.
''At an individual level, some people are having to face up
to some challenges in terms of career direction and we're
going to support them through that over the next few weeks.''
Mr Feeley said because of duplicated activities when the
three organisations were put together, the same number of
staff was not needed.
One council staff member, who declined to be named, said it
was more or less ''business as usual'' in the office
''The main conversation is on work in hand rather than the
changes foreshadowed in the final report,'' the staff member
Among changes from the reorganisational draft was the
reinstatement of a landscape planner.
Infrastructure, which cost the council $60 million a year,
was singled out by the chief executive as an activity which
could be done ''smarter and better''.
Significant savings were to be made from more vigorous
management of commercial contracts.
Savings of more than $2 million to $3 million were achievable
in the next 12 months, but larger savings were to be had in
the medium term, he said.
Asked if paying off the council's $100 million debt prompted
the review, Mr Feeley said a good rule of thumb of a local
authority was no more than 10% of rates went towards
servicing debt and the council was serving about 9%.
''Debt in itself is not a significant issue, but what will
become an issue is we've got some projects ahead.
''Project Shotover is one, but we have a lot of
infrastructure we've got to do in the coming year, so I think
it's more a case of getting rid of the old debt so that we
can take on some new capital expenditure.'ChangesAbout 40
full-time equivalent positions disestablished.
• About 40 full-time equivalent positions disestablished.
• More than 100 staff, or one-third, of council, Lakes
Environmental and Lakes Leisure staff affected.\
• 15%-25% of staff could lose their jobs.
• Positions terminated on July 1 or October 1.
• Staff told yesterday after consultation on draft review.
• New positions advertised internally and externally in next
• Lakes Leisure and council's Community Services team
• Lakes Environmental engineering team and council's
Infrastructure Services operations amalgamated.
• New legal and regulatory team to manage all council's
regulatory and enforcement functions.
• New general manager responsible for consenting activities
of Lakes Environmental and council's planning functions.
• Council chief executive Adam Feeley on interview panel for
all positions which report to him.
• $2m-$3m savings in short term; much more in medium to long