Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Hamilton City Council staff quit in civic service revamp

Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker. Photo / APN
Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker. Photo / APN

A review of Hamilton City Council's democratic support services has resulted in a near clearout of the council's "engine room of democracy" with three of the council's long-serving staff opting for voluntary redundancy.

The outcome of the review has shocked some councillors as the team works directly with them.

The restructure has resulted in four roles being replaced with four similar roles - but three of the four staff, including democratic support services manager Anthony Dick, have decided against applying for them.

The entire team has eight members including two roles - supporting the mayor, the democratic support secretary and civic events manager - which remain unchanged.

Hamilton City Council's general manager of customer relationships, Jason Dawson, said the review was aimed at cutting costs, improving processes and services and reducing operational reports. Plans would be finalised this week.

"Those four roles are the engine room of democracy. They are the ones that make sure our elected members have all the right information to make the right decisions and it's on time ... Without them, and if they are not running effectively, then obviously it affects the whole business."

The affected staff, senior managers, mayor and councillors were asked to provide feedback on services they required from the team.

The democratic support services manager is responsible for the running of elections, making sure the council complies with laws such as the Official Information Act and the Privacy Act, and administration for council, committee meetings and workshops.

Councillors learned of the new structure on Friday afternoon and the mayor then asked for an immediate update to keep them in the loop.

- NZ Herald

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