A new management model could make Rotorua's Aquatic Centre an "exciting case study", and save $520,000 in its first year, staff say.
Rotorua Lakes Council's operations and monitoring committee will consider an alternative management proposal from the centre's staff during a meeting tomorrow.
The centre has been shrouded in controversy since the council announced plans to partner with Community Leisure Management (CLM) over the centre's management late last year.
Staff were allowed to compile and present a proposal after the Amalgamated Workers Union complained to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) that the process of engagement with the union had been inadequate.
They believed there were three possible pathways for the future of the centre - a status quo option where management remained in-house, outsourcing, or "a transformative option leveraging off existing environmental factors including current staff capacity".
The proposal outlines a model in which "connection with community will be far more purposeful; the expression of biculturalism will be far more evident; and a staff centred management model will take responsibility for daily operations".
A "whanau culture" would be intrinsic to the business, the proposal states.
"Along these lines Te Puna Hapori will be an exciting case study, leading the way in terms of bicultural development at the council business unit level."
The proposal claims the new model would result in savings of $520,000 in its first year compared to the current in-house model.
The CLM model would result in savings of $700,000.
Staff have asked the council to allow them a further month to develop the proposal.
The committee will receive the proposal and decide whether it should go to the full council for consideration.
An assessment of the proposal relative to the CLM proposal was carried out by a new tender panel, consisting of acting chief executive Craig Tiriana, chief financial officer Thomas Colle, and facilitated by procurement lead Kerry Starling.
In their report to the committee, they describe the proposal as "aspirational in terms of intent and philosophy though limited in detail".
"Broadly, the proposal does not offer a discrete proposition for the management of the Aquatic Centre but rather offers an opportunity to council to go back to the drawing board to co-design how this philosophy could be translated into an effective governance and operations model.
"There is the potential to achieve a number of the aspirations identified, particularly around adopting a bicultural and community focused centre, under either an external contract or internal contract."