A PROPOSAL by the Manawatu and Rangitikei District Councils to create a shared services team to jointly manage the local bodies’ infrastructure and natural assets will go out to public consultation later this year.
Project Manager, Suzanne Craig, said the initiative would be part of the Annual Plan consultation process in May and give the 44,000 ratepayers in the two districts an opportunity to comment and present submissions.
The proposal aimed to combine the councils’ asset and contract management functions and to strengthen their in-house capabilities of delivering benefits to both council and communities.
“For council, we are looking to improve efficiencies and provide a sustainable service to our ratepayers,” said Ms Craig, “while for staff, it will provide enhanced career opportunities with expanded responsibilities and greater collegial support.”
A Memorandum of Understanding between the two councils had been signed and a number of new employment positions, identified within the proposed structure, had also been advertised.
“Shared services agreements are occurring throughout local government and this is possibly the first time anything of this size has happened in this region,” said Ms Craig.
She said the proposal was similar to the successful introduction last year of a staffing arrangement between the Manawatu District Council and Palmerston North City Council on building control services.
“The main focus is to establish good asset management on behalf of both councils,” said Ms Craig.