Overhaul of staff at Porirua City council
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.’’
Ian Barlow is one of the long-serving managers who has left Porirua City Council.