‘Transition manager’ to help 100 staff affected in Queenstown council review


Queenstown Lakes District Council will appoint a “transition manager” to help oversee and implement its controversial organisation restructure. 

Council staff have today been advised of confirmed changes that stem from a comprehensive review. One hundred staff will be affected and about 40 full-time equivalent positions will be disestablished, a statement released today says. 

QLDC chief executive Adam Feeley says a dedicated transition manager’s position recognises the scale of change proposed by the report. 

“Change of this nature does not happen overnight, and so I have appointed a transition manager to work with the new management team to implement all of the report’s recommendations over the coming months.” 

Key recommendations in the report include: 

• Integrating the operations of Lakes Leisure Ltd and the Community Services team of QLDC
• Integrating the operations of Lakes Environmental engineering team with the Infrastructure Services team of QLDC
• Creating a new legal and regulatory team to manage all of QLDC’s regulatory and enforcement functions
• Bringing the consenting activities of Lakes Environmental and the planning functions of QLDC under the responsibility of a single general manager. 

Details of the draft report were revealed by Mountain Scene earlier this month. The final report, which follows an internal consultation with staff, is now available publicly on the council’s website. 

Feeley says while the overall direction for change had been maintained in the final report, care has been taken to ensure both the scale and timing of change could be managed without adverse effects on council services. 

“The consultation process with staff has been extremely valuable. It has highlighted some areas where the right resources are critical to maintaining core council services, and the draft report has been modified to reflect this,” he says. 

Additional resources – both permanent and fixed term – have been added following the consultation process to ensure a smooth transition to the new structure, Feeley says. 

“A balance has had to be struck between maximising the cost-effectiveness of council operations and minimising any disruption to the public, and I think that the changes made between the draft and final report will achieve this.” 

Feeley adds: “We have gone through a rigorous review process which has not ducked asking the challenging questions about council services, but the fact remains that in most respects QLDC and our council-controlled organisations measure up very well to comparable local authorities.” 

“However we are not content with the status quo and are committed to lifting council’s performance both in terms of quality of service and value for money.” 

Feeley says the past few weeks have been “difficult” for staff and acknowledges their professionalism throughout. 

“My priority now is to see a quick and disruption-free transition to the new structure.”