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New Chch City Council management structure released to staff

16 September 2003

Christchurch City Council chief executive Lesley McTurk has today made known to staff her plan to restructure the senior management staff roles.

The CCC organisation has been operating with 21 people reporting to the head of staff and Dr McTurk earlier said that she did not believe it to be a recipe for successful management. She has also said she wanted to use this reorganisation at senior management level to better set up the City Council to meet the challenges of the Local Government Act 2002.

Dr McTurk recently released to staff a draft proposal and asked for feedback. She received more than 100 responses and incorporated a number of those suggestions in the final structure.

Managers whose positions are affected by the new structure have had meetings with Dr McTurk today. All of the staff whose positions are being disestablished are being encouraged to apply for any of the newly created positions. As a result, Dr McTurk is not yet able to say how many people may be made redundant. The possibility of redundancies, however, cannot be ruled out.

“ This is largely an internal staff matter, but I understand that Christchurch people are interested in what their Council is doing,” Dr McTurk says. “What I’d like the people of Christchurch to know is that this is not a cost-saving exercise and it is not about individual performance. My vision with this reorganisation is to build leadership capability and develop an organisation which is driven by performance and fully accountable to both the city’s elected members and the citizens of Christchurch.

“ The new Local Government Act says that councils now have a greater responsibility to listen to their communities and respond to what is wanted. To do that, and for our elected members to be able to set the broad strategies, the council needs reliable information, strong systems for communicating with the people of the city, and clear internal systems to deliver, plan and monitor progress.

“ In general, Christchurch City Council is in good shape and I have inherited an organisation whose staff members are rightly proud of the city’s facilities and the work and services they provide,” she says. “But we need better ways of listening and responding to people’s concerns and we need to know and show that what we’re doing is what’s wanted and that it is being done efficiently and well. ”

To provide certainty for staff, and in the interests of business continuity, the changeover is expected to happen quickly, with most new positions advertised in the next two weeks, Dr McTurk says.

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