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Potential Reductions To Council Services Identified

Hamilton City Council has put forward the services it could reduce to achieve cost savings in its 2024-34 Long-Term Plan.

In February, Elected Members resolved to look for personnel and consultancy savings totaling $104 million over the next 10 years. Council staff have identified $12.5 million of annual savings across both community-facing and enabling (back-office) functions.

Of these, nearly $8 million are proposed savings from staff and consultant budgets that would mean reductions in the services Council delivers to the community, including:

  • the removal of Council’s City Safe and road education teams
  • closure of one suburban library and the Auaha Makerspace, and reductions to opening hours across the branches
  • less frequent maintenance of garden areas and road landscapes
  • less frequent upkeep of public areas (e.g. litter collection, footpath sweeping)
  • reductions to city events and community development resourcing.

The full list of services up for reduction is here (from page 331).

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Another $2.5 million of savings from Council’s back-office functions would be finalised by Chief Executive Lance Vervoort, with direction from Elected Members as to the scale of the reductions to these services. A further $2 million of ‘high risk’ internal savings options have also been identified.

The reductions are scheduled to take effect in full from year three of Council’s draft 2024-34 Long-Term Plan budget, accounting for 0.4% lower rates increases from 2025/26 to 2028/29.

Council may wish to introduce the service reductions sooner, however, there would be no impact of this on the rates increase for 2024/25.

The total number of staff affected by the cost savings will be determined by decisions made at next week’s (4 to 6 June) Long-Term Plan deliberations meeting.

In this financial year, Council has already reduced headcount by 98 FTEs through a series of restructures initiated by Vervoort to right-size the organisation to deliver its existing levels of service.

If reductions averaging $10.5 million per year (which was proposed in February) are supported, it would total a reduction to Council’s personnel costs of approximately 15%.

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