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FFNZ Implementation Project

28 April 2005 PR 054/05

FFNZ Implementation Project

The National Board of Federated Farmers yesterday approved a proposal from Chief Executive Annabel Young to begin the next stage in a review project aimed at making New Zealand's premier rural lobby group even better.

"This is the latest step in implementing some of the proposals of an organisational review carried out by Network Communications in 2004. The goal is the delivery of better outcomes for members from an organisation reaching its full potential," said Tom Lambie, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

"It is very pleasing to have such a comprehensive and easy-to-follow set of recommendations from the chief executive. They have been unanimously adopted," said Mr Lambie.

The project will begin by seeking staff involvement. This valuable input will be coordinated by an external human relations consulting firm.

"The board and new chief executive regard it as very important that staff are fully involved and consulted through the duration of the project, including having the opportunity to comment on recommendations prior to implementation. Consultation with elected farmer representatives making up the National Council of Federated Farmers will also be a critical part of the process," said Mr Lambie.

"This project is about recognising we already have very good staff and a high level of capability, while recognising that there are always improvements to be found in the way skills are best utilised," he said.

"Federated Farmers aims to become even better at representing the interests of New Zealand farmers in a political environment that is increasingly hostile to New Zealand's largest export earner," Mr Lambie said.

A summary of the board recommendation paper follows.

Background Information

1. Executive Summary and Key Principles

With last year's review completed this is an appropriate time to implement a new design of the organisation of Federated Farmers (as distinct from the provincial and sector group structure of members and electeds.). It is proposed that the project covers current capability, resources, practices workloads and structure. The project will use the operational review that was carried out in 2004 as its basis.

The project, must allow for proper consultation, especially with existing staff whose institutional knowledge and support is essential to the success of the project. It is envisaged however, that the project is undertaken without undue delay so as to minimise any uncertainty for existing staff.

Board agreement is sought to the terms of reference within which an organisational review would be undertaken. These key principles are:

- That the project investigates current capability, resources, practices workloads and structure.
- Any outcome should have clear roles, accountabilities and authorities.
- That no position should have more than 5 direct reports (excluding secretarial staff) unless there is an explicit reason why this is a good idea.

- That jobs should be sized so that more senior jobs have a different seniority of work from that of the people reporting to that position.

- That the structure should be flat with hierarchies minimised.
- That there is a proven benefit to having staff in regional offices.
- That lines of accountability and responsibility should be clear.
- That any re-organisation should be within the current budget of the organisation.

It is proposed that specialised change management expertise will be contracted to assist the CE to undertake the project

2. Terms of Reference
Alignment of Federated Farmers policy and organisational outcomes – ensuring that the strategic priorities of the organisation are aligned with and support the policies of the Board, including answering the questions:

1. Are any of the current functions no longer relevant?
2. Are there any new functions or opportunities that should be picked up?
3. Should resources be re-allocated within the organisation?
4. Resources – whether the levels of resource and capability of the organisation match the needs of the electeds.
5. Skill requirements – what skills are needed now and into the future and how those skills are being developed within the organisation

6. Service standards – whether the services standards are relevant and meet the expectations of the stakeholders.
7. Organisational structure – whether the existing structure enables us to make the best use of the resources to maximise outputs in relation to the strategic direction of Federated Farmers

8. Communications resources – whether the existing arrangements provide the best means to support the needs of Federated Farmers.

3. Key Stakeholders
Any Staff related changes to the structure and functions of the organisation need to be mindful of the need and expectations of key stakeholders. These include:

1. Members
2. Staff
3. The Board
4. The Council
5. Sector Groups
6. Provinces
7. External stakeholders

4. Process and timeline
Phase 1: Early May

- Terms of reference agreed by Board at April Board Meeting
- Specialised expertise contracted
- Staff advised of the project and given a description of the process

Phase 2: May - June

- Affected staff interviewed and key issues identified
- Key stakeholders asked for input

Phase 3: July

- Draft report prepared
- Any changes implemented

Phase 4: July

- Full report to Council


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