Levin Librarians Trumped


Author Judith Holloway, lyricist for a new National Anthem

Author asks: ‘Why do Librarians have to re-apply for their own jobs?”

By Alan Tristram

Well-known author Judith Holloway is angry and thereby hangs a tale.

So she’s taken to print to publicise the sad story of the librarians of Levin.

She’s asked the Horowhenua District Council why all librarians at Te Takere ( the main library and cultural centre in Levin) have had to re-apply for their own jobs — and why most of them are being made part-time.

Long wait for an answer

She says she had to wait three weeks for an official answer from the Horowhenua Chief Executive, David Clapperton, and adds:

“As you will see, it is pages of real claptrap… ‘Clappertrap,’ in fact.

Ms Holloway says: “I feel it’s an important issue. I’m sure anyone with commonsense and concern for decency would agree.

Te Takere Library in Levin

“Why on earth should the professional  librarians at Te Takere have to reapply for their jobs?  It is the most unbelievable clap-trap, like something out of Kafka or George Orwell and shows very clearly just what’s wrong with our ridiculous District Council.

“This Council is fast becoming the laughing stock of New Zealand. Talk about smoke and mirrors, and Trumpery!”

The Questions for the Council CE…and his responses

Here are Ms Holloway’s questions (queries slightly amended for clarity); and the CE’s answers:

  •  Question: Why have librarians been forced to reapply for their jobs?
  • Response: Horowhenua District Council employees have not been asked to re-apply for their jobs. We have gone through a rigorous assessment of the organisation structure and have proposed a new structure and new roles that are significantly different to their previous roles.
  •  Question:  I would like to know, on behalf of the community, whose idea it was to institute such a process and what are the reasons for it?
  • Response: Employers are entitled to make changes, including changes that impact on their employees, whether the changes make the roles different or disestablished roles altogether. This is traditionally referred to as the ‘right to manage’ in case law.
  • Question: And what are the reasons for it?
  • Response: Horowhenua District Council’s aspiration is to go from ‘Good to Great’. It will achieve this aspiration by fulfilling the four pillars of excellence – these being providing excellent customer service; delivering excellent operations and products; and employing excellent people.

The CE also says the Council and the Chief Executive have set out the following philosophies as priorities to achieve that aspiration: ·

  1. Improving community well-being ·
  2. Enhancing infrastructure ·
  3. Being fiscally responsible ·
  4. Delivering services efficiently through an affordable and fair rates structure ·
  5. Responsive future planning · Creating an environment for economic growth.