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Published: 2014-01-22 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council chief executive Vaughan Payne is proposing a new streamlined organisational structure focussed on stakeholders, strategy and technical excellence.

Mr Payne presented the proposal at a series of meetings to councillors and staff today.   

“The proposed new structure builds a stronger organisation that’s better aligned internally and closer to its customers externally,” he said.

The changes are being mooted following a fit for purpose review launched last September to make sure the council has the right strategy, structure and people to improve its operating effectiveness and efficiency over the next four years.  

The review included benchmarking against similar organisations and feedback from staff, councillors and other key stakeholders. 

Mr Payne said the review found the organisation was doing a lot of things really well but could do things even better and drive greater efficiencies with a change of structure and focus.

The organisation has about the right number of frontline staff but could improve effectiveness and efficiency by grouping like-with-like activities and reducing management costs to free up resources to spend more on operational delivery. 

If the proposal proceeds, the new structure will reduce the number of managers by a third. 

“While we expect to reduce operating costs over time, these proposed changes are first and foremost about making sure our structure supports our work and enables collaboration with others to build a region that has a healthy environment, strong economy and vibrant communities.”

Mr Payne said the staff had been involved throughout the review process. He has just begun consulting with the organisation’s 465 staff about the proposals and no final decisions will be made until staff feedback has been considered. 

The organisation will work with staff and their representatives on the proposals and any changes won’t take effect for some months. 

“It’s simply too early to say what impact any change might have on individuals. Staff whose jobs are being changed will be offered redeployment where possible.” 

Further reviews and changes are likely at staff level once the new management structure is confirmed.