Council staff aid in tracing Covid contacts

Sue Bidrose.
Sue Bidrose.
More than 20 Dunedin City Council staff have joined the contact tracing effort to track down possible cases of transmission of Covid-19.

Council chief executive Sue Bidrose said yesterday the council continued to pay its staff, but the Southern District Health Board offered training "and looks after their working conditions and instructs them on the tasks".

The council had assigned new roles to some of its workforce under Covid-19 alert Level 4 lockdown conditions, which allow for only "essential services" to continue in New Zealand for its duration.

"We are keeping in touch with the DHB and will continue to provide staff to assist as requested. We don’t know how many might go, but we are comfortable this is ‘essential services’," Dr Bidrose said.

Up to half of the council staff involved, of the workforce of 800 full-time equivalents, continued to provide the core council services of drinking water, wastewater treatment, rubbish collection and the like — as well as the "back office functions" that supported that work.

But a third of the council’s staff would work from home to provide other council roles including "statutory functions, responding to urgent requests", including some consent work for the Dunedin Hospital rebuild.

But the staff that had been shifted to work on the Southern District Health Board’s contact tracing team was from the 15% of the council’s workforce that had "public facing" roles that could not be done from home, she said.

Some in that group had been shifted into essential core services.

"We’re also working with the civil defence ‘welfare’ function to have our people help with welfare services to the community where this is needed," she said.


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Given the salary Bidrose recieves that's the least she could do! For that amount she should go out and collect the people and escort them back! Why are DCC employees still being paid?

Timmy Fri-DCC staff are working hard in many departments. I know because a family member has been re-deployed to assist in urgent areas. Let's applaud them working while we are in isolation.

"Let's applaud them working while we are in isolation"...what makes you think that "we" aren't working while we are in isolation? Stop already with the condescending attitude towards people who exercises their right to express themselves. DCC doesn't have the best record when it comes to doing things in a logical and efficient manner. You like DCC...GREAT...WE GET IT! WE all are doing our part mate! What THEY are doing is no more important than what any other citizen is doing with a few exceptions! Really; "re-deployed to assist in urgent areas" like what? Re-deployed to another office in DCC? Another building in Dunedin? Poor choice of words mate! Re-deployed is a military term? One gets re-deployed from Afganistan to Syria not an office in the DCC to an office at ORC. Too funny - re-deployed? What does a Dunedin bureaucrat do that's urgent? Move plants around the closed roads around the Octagon? Check the bike lanes to see if people are outside their bubbles? Come on mate, we all know the truth about the DCC. The bottom line is the DCC staff is being PAID so they should be working. Mate, nobody is looking to DCC or the goverment for leadership on this. They caused this disaster.

Good call Nash. Great to hear the positive proactive normal functioning individuals commenting on here.
It would be great to hear more but people tend to shy away from being harrassed by the champions of it's all doom tinfoil hat'ers (pun intended).

May be after this all blows over we can have the honest discussion of what the DCC must provide and what it could provide as services. Clearly most of what the DCC & ORC does is non-essential and should be "user/special interest paid". Let the free market provide all non-essential services, they will be better at it.

Except there is nothing FREE in the free market.

another failing mark for Sue Bidrose... who voted these people in?

No one votes Sue Bidrise in, she is appointed by the council.
The council was voted in by the community, a large part of that community were students, that ran from Vandervis after his comment that he didn't want their vote.. So in a round about way it was Lee Vandervis who screwed up. Right in line with his standard play book, screq up and blame others.

Good Point. Big questions: what have we learned from this Pandemic? 1. the biggest threat to New Zealanders isn't climate change, the immediate threat is something like this. We need to reprioritize how we spend money. More on disaster preparedness and less on climate change. 2. What has DCC/ORC disaster preparedness actually done? The people manning these positions have no practical experience dealing with disaster. why not fill these position with ex-military and first responders? 3. Elections have results. The people of Dunedin voted in the last election based upon ideology vs practicality and experience. Consequently, the leadership lacks the experience to deal with an emergency like this. This was easy as far as emergencies go because there was a 48hr warning and infrastructure still in place. Everybody is looking to the national government for guidance not DCC or local government because DCC/ORC is woefull unprepared for an emergency like this. 4. Existing medical facilities are incapable of supporting a mass causualty scenario. What do we do? 5. We need to rethink the number of police we have. Who does law and order when they are infected? 6. Whats the role of the military?

Peeppoo - Sue Bidrose deserves a A plus mark in my eyes. We don't vote in council staff BTW. Staff are currently working ++ to help stop the virus spread. Are you?

I think what Peepoo was saying is that if there wasn't so much nepotism in local government, Dunedin would have a city manager that was paid commensurate with his/her skillset. For example, typically someone earning that kind of money has an MBA or MPA not a PhD in Psychology. Quite simply she lack the knowledge and experience to be the city manager. I'm not sure why the city of Dunedin has adopted the title of CEO, she isn't. Titles should consider the background career attainment and external ambassadorial duties of candidates. Bidrose is a city manager and adopting the title of CEO dilutes the title and makes it meaningless in the context of the private sector. The same logic can be applied down the chain of command, CEO of Transportation, CEO of Rubbish Collection etc. Regardless, given the salary and benefits that Bidrose receives, the people of Dunedin deserve more. Most people hate DCC and think the city is not run in a competent and efficient manner. If you want the title and pay of a CEO, then you need to act like a CEO and produce results. We are not getting our moneys worth! If this was a company and she was the CEO, the shareholders would have voted her out.

Very dramatic..."Staff are currently working ++ to help stop the virus spread" Doing? Well yes they are STILL being paid so its really nice they are actually working. The general public could do the same thing from their computers and arent being paid! Nice to see Nash gets to be the moral arbitrator of who is helping and who isnt in fighting the virus. Whats Nash doing to save lives? And as far as Bidrose goes, she makes more money than the PM and has a fraction of the responsibility. The expectation is that with greater salary comes greater results. No way a city manager for a town the size of Dunedin should be paid what she makes! Trump just barely makes the equivalent of Bidrose. Sorry, agree totally with Peepoo...another failing mark! You want to earn the big money you need to show results and she hasnt!

How man CEOs does a city like Dunedin need? I've never seen a city with so many CEOs. A CEO for DCC, a CEO for the airport, it goes on and on. All building their own little fifedom. These are lifetime jobs...the CEOs aren't ever leaving and they aren't worth the salary they get paid. Totally unaccountable to anybody!

Enter stage left the haters.
They actually have no idea of what is going on behind the scenes but spout off anyway.
As usual it is lead by the Vandervis cheerleaders who remind me of Hillary Clinton's Democratic Party that has non stop made ridiculous claims after losing.
Perhaps they could point put the sterling efforts that their champion is undertaking in this time or just belt up.

Are you the same Kezza who works for Bidrose? If so, please do enlighten all the "haters" about these "sterling efforts". I agree, there are a lot of ridiculous claims. Unfortunately, they are all coming from people trying to over inflate the efforts of the DCC. Like many in the city, not impressed. Waiting with bated breath to see what's really going on behind the scenes!

No, I do not, work for the DCC or have any ties with them.
The ODT online has become a play ground for haters and isn't worth reading anymore.
The DCC is what it is and will be until the next election, get over the fact that Vandervis lost and stop turning this into the USA Democratic Party witch hunt. It was pathetic in the States and it is even more pathetic here!
Get on with living your own life or get out there and run in the next election.

Your last sentence could have done with a preview check, none the less, I will take this opportunity that you have invited. In the most recent news article titled, 'Decisions loom on possible rates freeze, deferrals', you will clearly see that Cr.Vandervis motioned for rate rises to be scrapped, the suspension of penalties for non or late payment, and to continue wiyth major infrastructure work.
You see Kezza, that sort of decision making and implementation is required in such a time as we currently face.
What does your mate Hawkins do? insists that borrowing is the best course of action! For example, the pedestrianisation of George St. Hawkins has decided that freezing the rate rise is a godd idea, BUT, wants to borrow money instead, which will have a HUGE financial impact for the future of Dunedin ratepayers. Fact is Kezza, Vandervis knows how hard it is to earn a dollar, and it would appear he has respect for the Dunedin ratepayer and it's residents. And that my friend, is becoming more apparent as times get harder. People have every right to be concerned and raise those concerns. Our paper is a vehicle for that, as it should be.

Over $100,000 Vandervis has cost the DCC is 'whistleblowing' that has lead nowhere.
Once this is over I will make it my job to get an artificial going to point this out.
So in a nutshell Vandervis has not done anything and cost the DCC over a hundred thousand plus his wage packet BUT somehow he's a hero.
Surely the ODT will realise soon that their online news is now the bastian of the Vandervis cheerleaders that shout down anyone else and turns the majority away.

Kezza, if it ain't worth reading, you spend a lot of time 'replying'.
Vandervis 'lost' for one reason and one reason only.....STV
And that my friend is why the current council wish to maintain STV as the status serves them well.
As for people 'living their own lives'. Are you serious? people work hard in their lives and pay rates for a local government that hasn't served very well at all. The current and past DCC just don't get it. Dunedin is concerned, very concerned that even the basics aren't well managed. I researched ALL of the candidates, and I voted, I have EVERY right to complain and I jolly well will, as will others, freedom of speech mate, get over it!

He lost get over it.

Kezza, I value your comments and thank you for your input, so far you have not managed to change my mind with your views, I guess my comments are the same for others. Are you sure you are not working for the DCC, Bidrose or Hawkins? You should apply for the Mayors Policy advisors job.

Thank you for your reply.
Due to the constant ranting of people who claim that Vandervis can walk on water, I will be making my personal crusade to publish Vandervis three terms of non delivery, the costs and no results from his 'whistleblowing campaign', for all to see.
Yes you can thank yourself and others above who blindly follow fake Vandervis claims.

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