Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Uncertain future for 500 Auckland Council planning staff

The Auckland City Council Administration building. File photo / Richard Robinson.
The Auckland City Council Administration building. File photo / Richard Robinson.

About 500 planning staff at Auckland Council face an uncertain future in a major restructuring exercise announced today.

Chief planning officer Dr Roger Blakeley said the council planning office had undergone significant change since the chief planning office was designed by the agency that set up the Super City in 2009.

"Our world is very different today. We have moved from the development of major plans to their implementation. There is still much planning to be done such as the completion of the Unitary Plan, structure plans and area plans.

"Nevertheless, we need to prepare ourselves for the next three years to be fit for purpose," Dr Blakeley said.

Formal consultation on the draft proposal begins today and a final structure will be delivered in July.

A council statement did not say how many of the 500 planning staff could lose their jobs.

With a head count of 10,616 part-time and fulltime staff in the last annual report and a wages bill of $702 million, the council is under pressure to control staff numbers and costs.

Planning is also underway to slash $2.8 billion of new spending in next year's review of the 10-year budget.

The council is also currently restructuring its communications and marketing department.

- NZ Herald

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