Hawke’s Bay Regional Council statement on Andrew Newman
9 September 2013
Media Statement – Hawke’s Bay Regional Council
We are writing in support of our colleague, Andrew Newman, who, for political reasons, is coming under attack from a group in the community. This group is not being honest with the Hawke’s Bay community and wishes to undermine the progress being made by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council on a range of issues.
Allegations have been made of a ‘culture of fear’ existing within the regional council against speaking up. Let’s put some facts to this. Within the past 12 months an anonymous staff survey has been carried out across the organisation – the result? With a response from 82% of staff, over 80% feel a sense of commitment to the council and would recommend Hawke’s Bay Regional Council as a great place to work. Of course there are always areas for improvement– as in any workplace – but these results hardly point to an organisation in a state of dysfunction or living within a culture of fear.
In our opinion, Andrew has brought a perspective to local government from his commercial experience that has allowed Council to consider a wide range of responses to issues, rather than the traditional local government regulatory approach. He is proactive in dealing with the bigger issues that Hawke’s Bay needs to deal with. This may have led to a level of discomfort outside the organisation because it challenges the status quo but is supported by us within council as we can see better outcomes for the community through this approach.
Andrew has an impressive work ethic and a strong set of values. He has guided the council through a significant work programme of achievements over the past five years, prior to him moving across to the investment company. It would appear to us that having a strong vision and drive towards a vibrant Hawke’s Bay community has made him a target. For some reason success is to be frowned on in some quarters in Hawke’s Bay.
While it is election season and the merits of Council achievements are being debated, we consider it important that a Council employee is not subject to the unfounded smears, negative politics and allegations that Andrew is being subjected to. He has our 100% support and if anyone is in any doubt we invite you to contact us in person.
HBRC Executive Team