DVML in staff shake-up

Terry Davies
Terry Davies
Dunedin Venues Management Ltd is shedding six staff - but recruiting four more - as part of a push to sharpen its commercial focus, chief executive Terry Davies says.

Mr Davies told the Otago Daily Times the restructure was designed to shift the company running Forsyth Barr Stadium from a start-up business, focused on operational issues, to one that was more commercially driven.''

It's really been a start-up business that's never really taken stock of where it's at,'' he said.''

I've had to bite the bullet on that one.''

As part of the restructure, DVML finance manager Neville Frost's role would be disestablished in October, with his work handled in future by the Dunedin City Council's finance department, Mr Davies said.

The change had been ''on the cards for a long time'', but it made sense to transfer DVML's accounting processes to the council.''

They're the owner. They've got resources there.''

DVML's events and functions manager, Ruth Mackenzie-White, would also lose her job at the end of this week - 18 months after being appointed - as the role was to change, Mr Davies said.

Ms Mackenzie-White had been ''great'' at managing events at the Dunedin Centre, but had missed out on the new role, which would be more focused on events acquisition, he said.

Other roles to be disestablished within DVML were those of technical operations and maintenance manager, venue services officer, sales executive (advertising) and commercial sales manager.

Of the six staff affected by the changes, only two had applied for new roles, and only one had been successful.

In addition, the company's part-time contract with former commercial manager Guy Hedderwick ended earlier this year, bringing the number of staff affected by recent changes to seven.

In their place, the restructure has created five new roles, including that of business development manager and marketing analyst, designed to help lift the performance of the business.

The changes were being staggered over the next few months, with some roles still being advertised, but would reduce DVML's overall staff count from 27 to 25.

Details of the overhaul emerged just months after Mr Davies began work as DVML's chief executive in March, following in the footsteps of predecessors David Davies and Darren Burden.

He arrived needing to grapple with forecast losses totalling $3.34 million over the next three years, and the uncertainty of the council's ongoing and wide-ranging review of the stadium model, which was due to be completed next month.

Mr Davies said the restructure aimed to help lift profitability, allowing the company to reinvest in itself and ease the pressure on ratepayers.

He did not know what the results of the council's review would be, but could not wait for the outcome before making required changes.

''At the end of the day, what we've got to do is get on with business.''

Company changes
 •Six roles disestablished; five staff going and one being retained.

 •Departing staff include DVML finance manager Neville Frost and events and functions manager Ruth Mackenzie-White.

 •DVML accounting processes to be transferred to Dunedin City Council finance department.

 •Aim to shift DVML from operational to commercial focus.

 •Five new roles being created, including business development manager and marketing analyst.

 •Four new staff to be recruited.

 •Changes to reduce DVML's overall staff count from 27 to 25.

 •Results of DCC's wider stadium review expected next month.



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