Resort watchdog made redundant


Controversial enforcement boss Tim Francis is one of three managers laid off following a restructure by Queenstown Lakes District Council’s regulatory arm.

Francis is down the road along with Lakes Environmental engineering and environments man­­­­ager Malika Rose and corporate manager Jackie Rule.

Francis, 54, says he applied for a new merged role – corporate and regulatory services boss – but missed out to LE’s environmental health boss, Lee Webster.

Francis – who earned a reputation for vigorously pursuing anyone breaching QLDC consent rules – claims he’s happy to take redundancy.

“I think it’s an excellent Christmas present. I think LE have been very generous …

“I don’t see it as losing a job, I just see it as starting a new career.”

Doing what?

“Don’t know … I’m going to sit back and just view the horizon.

“I’ve done a political, legal and social juggle for the last seven years over every little nuance of this community.
“It’s been great and exciting but it’s time for a change as well.”

Asked to nominate highlights, Francis replies: “To survive another day to go to work.

“A few threats every now and again do a bit of harm to you personally, but at the end of the day it’s an enforcement job.”

Because people couldn’t separate him from his job, Francis reveals he didn’t belong to any clubs or organisations.

He belongs to the Coastguard rescue service “but I’m no longer vice-president or on a committee simply because of [potential] conflict of interest”.

LE boss Hamish Dobbie says LE has restructured to deliver its services better.

“There was absolutely nothing performance-related about it at all.

“I’m 100 per cent happy with the performance I’ve had from the people in those [disestablished] positions,” Dobbie says.

Dobbie denies the restructure’s been brought about by financial constraints.

Twelve months ago Mountain Scene reported LE had a sinking lid policy on staff numbers due to a drop-off in building and resource consent applications.

Fighting Francis: Tim’s top barneys

“A very excitable enforcement officer looking for something to do”

Christchurch-based Five Mile developer Dave Henderson during a March 2006 consent battle

“In the unlikely event you missed the point, the only reason the consent was granted was parties including yourself came to an agreed solution that included conditions”

Francis blasts Frankton Road’s Rees development company in November 2007

“Tim Francis and his folk are like flies hanging around a barbecue on a hot summer’s night”

Henderson again – in May 2008 over the relocation of Gibbston School’s historic building

“We’ve had a couple of companies query it but not refuse to pay”

Francis reveals in August that Lakes Environmental enforcement staff act as “mystery shoppers” when checking up on adventure tourism operators – then invoice operators to refund the cost of the trip