Change at Council

KK View

Kaikoura District Council is currently working through a change process of which a restructure is a part.

Kaikoura District Council CEO, Angela Oosthuizen explained the drive behind Council’s recent restructure, “Council exists to support and provide services to our District. Last years’ earthquakes significantly changed our District, so Council has to change. The restructure is all about making sure that who we are as a Council, the skills, priorities and way we work lines up with what our District needs and expects from us”.

“I continue to be very proud of our small staff, particularly of their efforts during the earthquake response and recovery. The earthquake has increased our workload and in some cases our statutory responsibilities. We need to increase our capability and capacity in specialist areas including natural hazards, infrastructure rebuild and building regulation, and to support the social and economic recovery of our communities.”

“We’ve made the Districts Recovery needs central to the new Council structure” she said. “The Recovery Plan, ‘Reimagine Kaikoura’, was created from over 3000 community submissions. 3000 ideas from the people of our District about what they want and need from our Recovery. We’ve taken those ideas to heart, designing a structure and recruiting individuals with the skills and community focus needed to help our District recover in the way our residents have told us they want it to”.

The net effect of the restructure is to take Council from 24 to 36 full‐time employees in 2017/18. The changes will cost an approximate total of $1.4 million, just $150 thousand of which will be funded by local ratepayers. The remaining $1.25 million has been funded by Central government sources such as NZTA, MBIE and external funding sources such as lotteries grants.

12 of the roles are fixed term, reflecting the need to achieve large amounts of work in the near future. Council has budgeted to reduce our headcount within 2 years. The details of what happens longer-term will depend on how the District’s Recovery progresses and how the District’s needs change over time.

“The earthquake put considerable strain on Council finances, just as it did on the finances of many of our ratepayers and local businesses. The work required to rebuild is expensive and we must continually strive to deliver value for money. We know that many ratepayers are concerned by the proposed rate rises. We have done everything we can to seek alternative funding and minimise the cost to ratepayers.”

The new Council structure also reflects that Recovery is a long process. “The changes to the District as a result of the earthquake are here for the foreseeable future and it is critical that Council has an effective and driven senior leadership. Recruitment is still underway so I can’t say much but the intention is to end up with a team at Council that reflects both local knowledge and experience and the right professional skills and expertise.”  CEO Angela Oosthuizen said.

The new structure will be in place by July 2017 and is the structure on which the draft Annual Plan 2017/18 was based. A diagram of the structure is available here.