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Stakeholders, strategy and technical excellence drive changes

Waikato Regional Council chief executive Vaughan Payne has confirmed a new, streamlined organisational structure focused on stakeholders, strategy and technical excellence and will begin advertising new senior leadership jobs this weekend.

The new structure follows consultation with staff on a proposal that disestablished several existing positions and created several new roles. In total, the number of managers has been cut by a third, from 52 to 34.

A recruitment firm has been engaged to coordinate the appointment of five new positions which will be advertised in newspapers and online from this weekend.

The new positions include three executive roles reporting to the chief executive. They are Director Community and Services, Director Strategy and Science and Director Integrated Catchment Management. Two new third tier positions are Manager of Customer and Community Partnerships and Chief Information Officer.

The changes follow an organisation-wide review started last September to make sure the council had the right strategy, structure and staffing to improve efficiency and effectiveness over the next four years. The review included benchmarking against similar organisations and feedback from staff, councillors and other stakeholders.

The review indicated that the council had about the right number of frontlline staff and the reduction in management costs over time would free up resources to spend more on operational service delivery.

“The new structure will strengthen our ability to achieve our new strategic direction and provide excellent services to our ratepayers, residents and other stakeholders,” Mr Payne said.

“We want to front foot changes occurring in our operating environment so that the people we serve get the best possible return on their investment in our organisation.”

The council signed off its new strategic direction at the end of February, signalling its focus on enabling economic growth and community partnerships.

“Our strategy signals our intention to work with others to support Waikato to have a strong export-driven economy underpinned by a healthy environment,” he said.

Applications for new positions close on 11 April, with appointments due to be confirmed by the end of May.

It is unknown how many staff will be made redundant as redeployment is being offered to people whose roles have changed.

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

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