Meeting to be held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt on Wednesday 15 September 2021 commencing at 2.00pm.












Neighbourhoods and Communities Approach Update (21/1386)


Memorandum dated 27 August 2021 by the Director Neighbourhoods and Communities                                            2

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendation contained in the memorandum be endorsed.”







Annie Doornebosch

Democracy Advisor


MEMORANDUM                                             2                                   15 September 2021


Our Reference           21/1386

TO:                      Chair and Members

Communities Committee

FROM:                Andrea Blackshaw

DATE:                 27 August 2021

SUBJECT:           Neighbourhoods and Communities Approach Update




That the Committee receives and notes the information contained in the memorandum.



1.    As you are aware, the organisation has been going through a re-design to better enable it to deliver on Council’s priorities and ensure our city and all its people thrive.

2.    Phase One was carried out in late 2020, Phase Two in February 2021, and Phase Three was due to be completed on 9 September 2021.


3.    The organisational re-design aims to best position us to deliver on our mandate from Council - getting the basics right - E whakatika ana i ngā mea matua and focus on doing everything we can to ensure we have a connected, resilient city where everyone thrives. It aims to develop one team delivering integrated services, being more connected to our communities and partners, aligning resource to priority, grouping like functions, fill gaps in capability and reducing duplication across the business.

4.    This design work is only one part of the change required. The Digital team is focused on delivering new tools that will support us all in our day to day work and our People and Capability team is working on ensuring that as an organisation we have the right capabilities and that staff have a great experience working here. 

5.    Phase Three focused on the new Neighbourhoods and Communities team and additionally sought to respond to the following:

·     The core functions the team was formed to deliver - Neighbourhood Management and Asset Based Community Development.

·     The Long Term Plan (LTP) priority of Connected Communities and Council’s desire to re-set the way we engage and work with communities, and doing that as ‘One Council team’.

·     Council’s COVID Recovery Plan, which reinforced the priority of connected and resilient communities, and also proposes more of a focus on food resilience and high trust relationships.

6.    In February 2021, a series of workshops was held with Neighbourhoods and Communities staff to contribute to the development of a new strategic framework (pictured below).

7.    This was tested with elected members in April 2021 and subsequently an operating model and organisational structure were designed to deliver on the strategic framework. 

Summary of Phase 3:

8.    There are three key themes to the changes:


a)    Re-setting the operating model for engaging and working with communities - from ‘functional teams’ to ‘Neighbourhood teams’ and repositioning our key facilities as anchors in each community - we have already taken some steps towards this with our three community hubs.

b)    Better integration of services and programmes – one co-ordinated and aligned programme of activities to support wellbeing to increase reach and impact, and reduce duplication.


c)    Efficient delivery of core services.


Key changes:

9.    Two new teams have been created:

a)    The ‘Neighbourhood Hubs and Library Services’ team brings together our eight anchor neighbourhood facilities and creates neighbourhood teams at each site. This will better enable us to work in neighbourhoods as one Council team and deliver integrated services, including library services which will be supported by our team of professional librarians. It also enables us to optimise both our existing resource and facilities. This team also includes a centralised operations team to support the operation of all community facilities and the delivery of integrated services, grouping like functions to ensure consistency of practice and reducing duplication.

b)    The ‘Connected Communities’ team includes new roles of Neighbourhood Coordinators (4) who will lead the holistic approach and work to harness the collective  impact of all those on the ground. It also includes relationship management for Communities of Interest (eg: Pasifika, Disability, Diversity and Inclusion) and brings together roles that develop and deliver programmes, with the intention of creating one co-ordinated and aligned programme of activities to support wellbeing and lead the shift to community-led development. 

10.   The new structure includes new roles of Head of Parks and Reserves and Head of Aquatics to ensure spans of control to enable strong people and asset management and additional resource has been added to the Parks and Reserves team to respond to the increased focus on sustainability and biodiversity.

11.   The Head of Museums role has been repositioned as Head of Arts and Culture to appropriately reflect a broader mandate of the team.

12.   Another feature of the new structure is the introduction of further Te Reo titles, in line with our objective of becoming a bi-cultural organisation.

13.   Similarly to Phase Two, most people who want a role in the new structure should find one and we have worked closely with our union colleagues throughout the process.

14.   While the new structure will come into effect on 1 November 2021,  many aspects of the new way of engaging and working with communities will take longer to bring in as we recruit, build staff capability and design new ways of working with our neighbourhoods and communities.

Financial Considerations

15.   The financial implications will be managed within the approved baseline budgets in the LTP.

Risk Management

16.   The risks associated with Phase Three of the organisational redesign are those associated with the overall organisational change, and the Corporate Leadership Team has ensured they are being appropriately mitigated.

Climate Change Impact and Considerations

17.   The matters addressed in this memorandum have been considered in accordance with the process set out in Council’s Climate Change Considerations Guide


18.   Through these changes we expect to see an increased focus on community-led sustainability activity, including through our anchor facilities and neighbourhood teams. As part of Phase 3, additional resource has been added to the Parks and Reserves team to reflect the increased focus on sustainability and biodiversity.

Legal Considerations

19.   The legal implications connected with this memorandum are those associated with the overall organisational change, and this is being appropriately managed with support from the People and Capability team.



There are no appendices for this memorandum.    







Author: Andrea Blackshaw

Director Neighbourhoods and Communities







Approved By: Jo Miller

Chief Executive