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RLC Undertakes Organisational Realignment To Better Meet Community Needs

With increasing pressure on councils across the country to provide local leadership on issues spanning social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeings, as well as dealing with the impacts of COVID-19, Rotorua Lakes Council is making changes to ensure it is in the right shape to deliver on community needs.

In a shift away from its current structure, the Council organisation will move to six key outcome areas: Community Wellbeing, District Development, District Leadership and Democracy, Environmental and Infrastructure Solutions, Organisational Enablement and Te Arawa Partnership. The Office of the Chief Executive has be renamed to Chief Executive’s Group.

Deputy chief executives have been appointed to lead each of these areas and will be responsible for ensuring that the strategic outcomes for these areas are met.

Chief executive Geoff Williams says the realignment will ensure the organisation is fit-for-purpose.

“The implications of COVID-19 have changed ways of working, and life, for everyone. The social and economic impacts of the pandemic have been felt widely and for Rotorua, issues facing our district pre-pandemic have been exacerbated since lockdown.

“Key to addressing these issues are strong partnerships with iwi, central government and government agencies. To foster and strengthen these partnerships, and to best meet the needs of our community, Rotorua Lakes Council will be evolving its strategic direction to enable us to respond to current and future challenges and opportunities.”

The deputy chief executives have been responsible for drafting what their outcome areas will look like and consultation with the wider organisation is now underway. While the final structure is yet to be decided upon, the deputy chief executives are already operating in their new roles.

“This indicates the enhanced responsibility and accountability these individuals have for ensuring strategic outcomes are met,” Williams says.

The deputy chief executives were all appointed internally, with two staff taking on a significant increase in responsibility. While no Council staff have received pay increases during the past 12 months, one deputy chief executive took on a new role entirely and their remuneration was adjusted to reflect that. One other deputy chief executive is in the process of having their salary reviewed.

“This is not about simply creating new job titles for the sake of it, or paying people more because they have a new title. The deputy chief executive roles will demand a lot and our next step in the process is to ensure the organisational functions and activities match the required outcomes.

“Council needs to play a strong leadership role, build our economy and promote community wellbeing. Our approach and way of working needs to change to meet our community's needs and that is exactly what we are doing with this organisational realignment.

“We look forward to sharing more with our community as we move further through the process and consultation with our staff is complete. This is an exciting opportunity to create a more adaptable and responsive organisation that is capable of delivering real value for our community, in a highly uncertain environment.”

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