Contrary to reports in today’s New Zealand Herald, Auckland Council is not closing customer service centres.
Rod Aitken, Head of Corporate Property, said the council’s new corporate property portfolio strategy will not result in any closures of customer service centres, but they may be relocated within their communities.
“If approved, the new model will deliver increased efficiency and offer more flexible services for customers across the Auckland region. The strategy will see an increase from 86 to 96 percent of Auckland’s population living within 10km of our council workplaces, and from 46 to 100 percent of the council’s 13 wards with face-to-face access to council services.
“New hubs will bring together our back-office operational staff in three key growth areas: Manukau, North West (to be confirmed through a rigorous selection process) and the CBD. This will reduce the number of council buildings being used and reduce operational costs.
“These hubs will be supported by spokes, where customer service teams will continue to provide front-line services.
“The spokes will enable our staff to work closer to their customers and community, utilising existing spaces we already occupy such as Local Board offices, libraries and community centres.
“We’re committed to maintaining a good customer service presence around the region. Our customer service centres may be accommodated in different buildings in the same area - the changes will improve services and reduce spend.
“This is an opportunity for us to provide upgraded spaces and better service our customers. Services will be kept local – the strategy has been developed with the community at heart,” says Mr Aitken.
The strategy was presented to the council’s elected members at a Finance and Performance Committee briefing in August last year. Local boards are being consulted about the location of future services in their areas, and then approval will be sought from the council’s Finance and Performance committee in April.