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Change proposal aims to meet community needs

Thursday 27 August 2015

Change proposal aims to meet community needs

Christchurch City Council Chief Executive Dr Karleen Edwards has released a change proposal that aims to deliver on the high expectations of the community and prepare the organisation to lead the city as CERA transitions its responsibilities.

The proposal was announced this week to staff, who will have the opportunity to comment before a final decision is made at the end of October.

“The proposal aims to create a more agile organisation that can respond quickly and confidently to the dynamic needs of a rebuild city.

“Broadly, the proposal is designed to create a stronger community and customer focus; reduce duplication by bringing similar services together; and improve accountability by providing clarity of leadership and reducing the number of management roles. I have called this review “Fit for the Future” because it is about structuring our organisation to deliver on the high expectations of the community and preparing it to lead the city as the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority transitions its responsibilities.”

The proposed changes span the entire Council, however there are no proposed changes to front-line staff (those staff who directly interact with and serve the community). Overall, it is proposed that 175 roles are disestablished and 115 new roles created.

“The changes start at the top, with a reduction of Executive Leadership Team positions from seven to five to create a structure that works better for our customers,” Dr Edwards says.

“The five new groups reflect the need combine our rebuild and recovery functions with the rest of the business to streamline processes and reduce duplication. The proposal builds on changes introduced in 2013, which aimed to ensure the Council was focusing on the city’s rebuild. Two years on, it is time to bring the business together to focus on the needs of the whole community.

"A good example is the plan to bring together our building consents, resource consents and licencing teams to create clear accountabilities. I am also proposing bringing water and waste functions in to one team, as well as the transport building and delivery teams."

“I want to be clear, however, that this is not a return to business-as-usual. The changes will see the entire organisation operating under a "new-normal", making us best-placed to meet the needs of the rebuild and our customers.”

The proposal was developed drawing on research into local and international trends, and discussions with staff, city leaders, community groups and business leaders. Staff have led the preparation of this proposal, engaging consultants PwC to carry out external research and offer advice, at a cost of $219,508.

“The community has high expectations of its Council - as it should do - and we need to make sure we deliver on those expectations. We need to have the right people doing the right things in order to deliver for our customers,” Dr Edwards says.


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