5 May 2015

Job on the line at New Plymouth District Council

6:33 pm on 5 May 2015

Jobs are on the line at the New Plymouth District Council where about 140 leadership roles are being looked at in a drive to be more efficient.

Front of the building housing the New Plymouth District Council

New Plymouth District Council Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

The council says it expects streamlining its management to save about $20 million dollars over ten years.

But chief executive of the New Plymouth council Barbara McKerrow said the primary aim of the realignment was to create a more agile, efficient business - not to make savings.

"A question I've often asked is: is this reallignment all about cutting costs?

"And my answer is: no it's not, although I believe a reduction in costs will be one of the outcomes.

"The primary focus of this review is to ensure we to have an organisation that is going to perform effectively for its community well into the future."

Ms McKerrow was not ruling out redundancies amongst her 500 staff but she said frontline services would not be affected.

Former New Plymouth councillor Len Houwers said a review of the roles at the council does not go far enough.

Mr Houwers campaigned for an overhaul of council before quitting his seat last year.

He said the savings from the restructure were minimal.

"I think it's a very minimal effort I mean it's easy to talk about 20 mil over ten years, but that's only 2 million a year.

"And of you actually compare that to the total wage budget, it's probably less than three percent of costs in terms of staff costs."

Mr Houwers said the council had missed an opportunity to more closely examine what its role in the district was.

For one thing he questioned the council's involvement in the arts and recreation.