Over­haul of staff at Porirua City coun­cil

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

The big­gest over­haul of man­age­ment in two decades at Porirua City Coun­cil is be­ing greeted as a chance for fresh ideas.

Af­ter a ma­jor re­view of strat­egy and oper­a­tions, new coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Wendy Walker an­nounced in Novem­ber that 19 roles were be­ing dis­es­tab­lished and 20 new ones cre­ated.

Some man­agers were made re­dun­dant, some took re­tire­ment and oth­ers left rather than re-ap­ply­ing.

Those who have left in­clude Peter Bai­ley (head of asset man­age­ment and oper­a­tions), David Rolfe (head of en­vi­ron­ment and reg­u­la­tory ser­vices), Ian Barlow (in charge of vil­lage plan­ning), Wil­liam Mid­dle­ton (gen­eral man­ager of works oper­a­tions) and Chris Lip­scombe (man­ager of eco­nomic devel­op­ment).

Walker said $331,000 had been paid out in re­dun­dan­cies.

She agreed there was a lot of in­sti­tu­tional knowl­edge walk­ing out the door, but was con­fi­dent a bal­ance was be­ing struck.

Walker said the change at the coun­cil was sig­nif­i­cant in an or­gan­i­sa­tion where there had not been much for some time.

‘‘This is not a clear­ing of the decks,’’ she said.

‘‘There’s a lot of fresh ideas com­ing in now, but that sec­ond and third tier of man­age­ment [at the coun­cil] is there, and about half of the new roles are pro­mo­tions made in­ter­nally.

‘‘Many of the [de­par­tures] were peo­ple who were shortly leav­ing any­way or who were close to re­tire­ment age.’’

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said it was a lot of change for him­self and Porirua City coun­cil­lors to di­gest, but bet­ter de­liv­ery from se­nior man­age­ment was the de­sired re­sult.

‘‘There seems to be a smooth tran­si­tion oc­cur­ring and the peo­ple fill­ing the va­can­cies are ex­pe­ri­enced,’’ he said.

‘‘It may not al­ways be plain sail­ing and there will be dis­rup­tions when this sort of change hap­pens, but it’s ex­cit­ing for the city.’’

At­tract­ing can­di­dates to the roles had not been tough, and only three po­si­tions were out­stand­ing, Walker said. It had been a time-con­sum­ing ex­er­cise, but a valu­able one.

‘‘The feed­back we’ve been re­ceiv­ing for the coun­cil and the city has been pos­i­tive – Porirua is seen as a great place to work.’’

PHOTO: FAIRFAX

Ian Barlow is one of the long-serv­ing man­agers who has left Porirua City Coun­cil.

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