24 Mar 2021

Three Christchurch City Council redundancies cost ratepayers $316,000

9:32 pm on 24 March 2021

Christchurch ratepayers forked out more than $300,000 in redundancy payments for three general managers on the city council's executive team.

Exterior shots of Chch city council building

Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

The Christchurch City Council announced in December that it would change its executive team and business group structure in a cost cutting exercise.

A total of five staff were made redundant and among those were three general manager roles.

The general managers who have left the council are Brendan Anstiss, Leonie Rae and David Adamson.

The council has since revealed that the cost of redundancy payments for the three was $316,000.

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Cllr Sam MacDonald Photo: Christchurch City Council

Councillor Sam MacDonald, who frequently criticises council spending, pointed out there were costs associated with any organisational change.

"People will probably be quite surprised [by the amount] and I certainly am too," he said.

"The important thing for me is are we going to be able to make longer term savings, and actually are these new general managers who are coming in under a new structure, going to be able to drive a lot more efficiency?"

When the council announced the plans for the restructure last year, it said the move would save between $600,000 and $700,000 a year.

The council said at the time the new structure would provide a better balance between general managers responsible for delivering levels of service to the community and those providing internal enabling services.

MacDonald said he would not be surprised if people are agitated by the amount paid out to the general managers for redundancy.

The redundancy payments were signed off by the council chief executive.

MacDonald said councillors needed to back the chief executive's new structure.

"I really want to see some fundamental changes within the organisation, and if it takes bringing in a couple of new general managers to do that, then I am certainly behind it."

The council announced its new executive leadership structure earlier this month.

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