Entry received from: Ōtorohanga District Council
Category: Excellence in Organisation and People Development

Ōtorohanga District Council is a local authority in the King Country, covering 1976km2 from the seaside town of Kāwhia in the west to Lake Arapuni in the east. Included within the District are the urban communities of Ōtorohanga and Kāwhia. It is the ninth smallest local authority in Aotearoa.

For many years, the Council has kept debt low and focused on meeting the core service delivery expectations of the community. Staffing levels have been very stable, with about 50 FTE and staff turnover at two per cent. Whilst this has served the community well until now, times are changing.

Local government is changing, the District is changing, and in response, our organisation needed to change.

An independent CouncilMark assessment and strong community feedback through the Long-term-plan (LTP) early engagement phase led to us embarking on a three-year Organisation Realignment to provide greater leadership and increase capacity and capability to deliver to emerging priorities, invest in innovation, and meet community expectations. The realignment was a bold move for an Organisation with a culture of austerity, long serving employees, and low turnover.

By adopting an evolutionary people-focused change process, we have achieved our objectives of implementing a structure that would better serve our community's aspirations, while remaining true to the spirit we intended so employees are involved in the process, and engagement has remained high.

Thank you to our category sponsor