Council mum on whether redundancies on way

Photo: ODT files
The Waitaki District Council building. Photo: ODT files
The Waitaki District Council is consulting with staff on a new "organisation design", but will not say if that means redundancies.

A spokesman announced the news, which included "significant" proposed changes to job roles, following an all-staff meeting yesterday.

The consultation began yesterday and would run until early June, he said.

When asked if the changes meant staff would be made redundant, the spokesman said it would not be appropriate to discuss until the consultation was complete.

"We aim to make better use of council’s resource to improve our effectiveness and provide better value for money."

The council has about 250 staff in full-time, part-time, casual or volunteer roles.

"This proposal is out to staff for consultation. Once that has been completed council will use the feedback to amend its proposal."

Councils had been given increased responsibility by successive governments, the spokesman said.

"A lot of these responsibilities were also unfunded, meaning councils have had to find ways to fulfil their legal responsibilities with their existing revenue streams."

The new proposal was part of the council’s $4.5 million transformation project, which would allow it to "rigorously organise itself to fulfil all of its responsibilities in a cost-effective way with better service."

Chief executive Alex Parmley said the council needed to reshape how it worked "on the inside".

"Doing nothing is not an option, Mr Parmley said.

"Living within our means has become even more important to us as our costs have risen.

"An important part of this, especially in the current economic climate, is looking at doing things differently to deliver value for money with the resources we have."

Part of the proposed changes was moving away from how councils had traditionally worked.

"That means we need different technology, processes, job roles and team structures to deliver for you."

The Otago Daily Times is scheduled to speak to Mr Parmley about the issue further today.