Here’s a plan for Auckland’s planners: get into budget planning and plan cuts in other planning jobs

Whoever planned this should be high on the no-longer needed list.

Whoever planned this should be high on the no-longer- needed list.


Dunno what Auckland City planners will be planning today.

But it’s a fair bet it will hard for them to plan too far ahead for their own personal futures because great uncertainty is shrouding their career longevity – at least, so far as their council jobs are concerned.

Planning is always complicated by uncertainty.

Alf makes these observations after learning from the NZ Herald that –

About 500 planning staff at Auckland Council face an uncertain future in a major restructuring exercise announced today.

The Herald quotes chief planning officer Dr Roger Blakeley, who once upon a time could be found heading the Ministry for the Environment in Wellington.


Whether he has found a good working environment for himself in Auckland is hard to say, but he told the Herald the council planning office had undergone significant change since the chief planning office was designed by the agency that set up the Super City in 2009.

“Our world is very different today. We have moved from the development of major plans to their implementation. There is still much planning to be done such as the completion of the Unitary Plan, structure plans and area plans.

“Nevertheless, we need to prepare ourselves for the next three years to be fit for purpose,” Dr Blakeley said.

Roughly translated, this means a whole lot of planning has been finished and accordingly has gone from the planning department to the get-on-and-do-it department, but planners are always looking for something more to plan and in this case they have found it. But maybe not so many planners will be needed to do the new work so city bosses are getting on with implementing a plan to be rid of those who won’t be needed.

The Herald goes on:

Formal consultation on the draft proposal begins today and a final structure will be delivered in July.

A council statement did not say how many of the 500 planning staff could lose their jobs.

With a head count of 10,616 part-time and fulltime staff in the last annual report and a wages bill of $702 million, the council is under pressure to control staff numbers and costs.

Dunno if it helps those whose jobs may be lost in the shake-up,  but there’s always a job for someone willing to plan budget cuts. Or rather, there should be.

And yes – the Herald confirms it is happening in Auckland:

Planning is also underway to slash $2.8 billion of new spending in next year’s review of the 10-year budget.

If Alf was to become a planner, he would ensure his longevity by specialising in budget planning.

Oh, and the council is restructuring its communications and marketing department.

This is to be expected. If there are fewer planners, it follow that there should be fewer spin doctors needed to prepare press statements about about what has been, is being and will be planned.

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