Two senior Tauranga City Council executives have been made redundant in a major top-down restructuring.

The council's new chief executive, former police officer Marty Grenfell, has cut the number of general managers reporting to him from 11 to six.

Shortly after arriving in September he moved three positions out of the executive team and yesterday announced the remaining eight would be disestablished and replaced by the six rebuilt roles, effective February 18.

Of the general managers in the disestablished roles, two accepted redundancy, two have been reappointed and one was considering her options.

Advertisement

Community services leader Phillip King accepted redundancy and left on Friday, as did environmental services leader Rebecca Perrett, who oversaw the building services department.

Jaine Lovell-Gadd, general manager of city transformation, was understood to be considering her options and was eligible to apply for vacant new roles.

Growth and infrastructure manager Christine Jones and chief financial officer Paul Davidson have been reappointed to head new portfolios.

Long-serving Jones - the only manager to survive the last executive restructuring in 2013 - will head up the new strategy and growth area, responsible for getting the council's long-term planning and strategy right.

Davidson will become the general manager of corporate services, an area that included finance.

The council will soon advertise the four vacant general manager roles: Infrastructure, regulatory and compliance, community services, and people and engagement. Each had a salary band starting at over $200,000.

Marty Grenfell became Tauranga City Council's chief executive in September. Photo / George Novak
Marty Grenfell became Tauranga City Council's chief executive in September. Photo / George Novak

Grenfell said he was expecting top private and public sector applicants for the positions.

Having a smaller executive team might cost less, he said, but the changes were about improving performance, not saving money.

Other less senior positions had changed but there had been no other redundancies.

He said his decisions came after canvassing 40 council managers, 50 external Project Tauranga organisations and 60 staff submissions.

The message was clear about the city's top priorities: managing growth, ensuring the availability of enough land for housing, and improving transportation networks.

He said the council's current structure was "clearly not working", to the point several people used the word "fiasco" when describing to him last year's 10-year planning process.

"We needed a reset of our organisation's leadership."

In a decision document sent to the council's 500-plus staff, Grenfell said there was a need for "a significant shift in behaviours, attitudes and practices regarding collaboration across and deep into the organisation itself" to prevent siloed thinking.

Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless said it was important the council made sure it had the "right structure to run the city" and the restructure was a step towards doing that.

- Additional reporting Scott Yeoman

Controversial projects to be reviewed

Tauranga City Council chief executive Marty Grenfell is planning to review some of the council's most controversial recent projects, including the Phoenix car park revamp.

Grenfell said he was concerned some high-profile projects the council had recently delivered had not met community and political expectations.

As well as the new Te Papa O Ngā Manu Porotakataka, the streetscaping in the Greerton CBD and the Mount Maunganui surf club redevelopment were also up for review.

He wanted to figure out why there was a gap between expectations and what was delivered.

Grenfell said the council had become a "defensive" organisation, and he wanted that to change.

"If we get things right, great, but if we get things wrong we have to own it.

"As an organisation, we have got to stop doing things for the community and start doing things with the community. That's where we fall into those traps."

TCC's new executive structure

General managers reporting directly to chief executive Marty Grenfell:

- Infrastructure - Vacant
- Strategy and growth - Christine Jones
- Community services - Vacant
- Regulatory and compliance - Vacant
- People and engagement - Vacant
- Corporate services - Paul Davidson

Source: Tauranga City Council