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New appointments strengthen regulatory functions

27 April 2006

Five new staff appointments have been made at the Christchurch City Council to spearhead the formation of two new business units: Environmental Policy and Approvals, and Inspections and Enforcement.

The two new units will replace the current Environmental Services Unit and be responsible for all the Council’s regulatory work regarding such things as building and resource consents, building inspections, city plan, dog control, on-street parking and enforcement activities.

The split was needed to improve service to the public through improved enforcement of various laws administered by Council on behalf of the community and to provide processes at better value for money for residents applying for regulatory consents from Council.  It also enables Council to plan ahead to meet the Council’s big picture issues in this area.

“The current structure was getting to the point where staff were getting so bogged down in their everyday work that they were unable to look at issues strategically to plan ahead,” says General Manager of Regulation & Democracy Services, Peter Mitchell.

Steve McCarthy, from  the Hutt City Council, will head the new Environmental Policy and Approvals Unit as Unit Manager, and Gary Lennan, from Christchurch Central Police, will head the first Inspections and Enforcement Unit as Unit Manager.

Both units come into force on 1 May, when Mr McCarthy starts with the Council, followed by Mr Lennan on 15 May.

Mr McCarthy has considerable local government experience, having managed environmental inspections, building, Resource Management Act enforcement, dog control, trade waste, parking teams and a Community Development Division at Hutt City.

He developed a quality management system in his business unit there, which was one of the first in New Zealand to become International Standards Organisation-certified.  He has worked with Local Government New Zealand on the introduction of new legislation and standards in food, health, liquor, building, contaminated sites, and hazardous substances. 

Mr McCarthy is currently working with a number of cluster groups towards accreditation as Building Consent Authorities. He has guided a number of territorial authorities in developing their own quality management systems and applying for business excellence awards. 

Mr Lennan comes from the New Zealand Police where he has been the Prosecution Services Manager, South Island, since 2003. In this role he led the strategic development of prosecution services. Before that he was Human Resources Manager for the Canterbury Police District for three years.

His strong leadership skills at the strategic and operational levels are balanced by extensive Human Resources, business management and legal experience. He completed a Master of Business Administration at Massey University, and Bachelor of Laws at Otago University while serving as an officer, attaining the rank of Inspector.

Along with the two new Unit Managers, three internal Council appointments have been made department managers in the new units.  They applied for these positions along with outside applicants.

Tim Harris, who is currently the Area Development Officer of the Lyttelton Service Centre and, before that, the Banks Peninsula District Council Environmental Services Manager, has been appointed the Council Resource Management Manager in the Environmental Policy and Approvals Unit.  Mr Harris was also a planner at Banks Peninsula and before that, a planner at Davie Lovell-Smith and Connell Wagner.

Brian Roff, who is currently the Team Leader of the Council Civic Building Team in the Environmental Services Unit that processes 4000 building consents a year, has been appointed Building Approvals Manager in the same unit as Mr Harris. Mr Roff has been working for the Council for 15 years, with private sector experience from Chas S Luney, Warren & Mahoney, and Fletcher Construction and Development.

Julie Burgess, who is currently Customer Services Team Leader in the Council Customer Services Unit, has been appointed Environmental Inspections and Enforcement Manager in the new Inspections and Enforcement Unit. Ms Burgess has been with the Council since 1994, with previous roles in the City Water and Waste Unit as Team Leader, Enforcement, in the Parking Unit.

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