$80,000 for extra staff approved

Erik van der Spek.
Erik van der Spek.
A request for $80,000 to fund an additional staff member for the Waitaki District Council's recreation unit has been approved by the council's asset committee, and awaits final approval by the full council.

A report tabled by council recreation manager Erik van der Spek asked for the additional funding because of a staff shortage, which meant the unit was unable to keep up with its growing workload.

A rise in the number and value of projects and community initiatives; increases in "customer engagement expectations"; more involvement in tourism-related initiatives; and assuming responsibility for the maintenance of the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trial had all contributed, the report said.

It said if staffing shortages in the unit were not addressed, the council faced "increased risk and costs resulting from rushed work, poor decision-making and possible loss of staff and knowledge".

Mr van der Spek said staff were "running around trying to get stuff done" at present and could not fully focus on projects.

"Without added capacity we are going to be going in the same vein as we are at the moment. We are going to be chasing our tails."

Cr Hugh Perkins asked why the council was responsible for the cycle trail and questioned Tourism Waitaki's role.

"I am really starting to wonder what Tourism Waitaki is for, if they can't address problems like this. The function of Tourism Waitaki was to take responsibility for commercial ventures and ensure they are on commercial lines ... I think we need a careful review of what we are taking on from Tourism Waitaki."

Mr van der Spek said the council owned the trail so was therefore responsible for it, and Tourism Waitaki, a council-controlled organisation, handled advertising and marketing.


Please welcome the naive Waitaki District Council to the very popular gravy train that operates in every poorly managed Council organisation.