Wellington Scoop

Outsourcing of libraries – a focus of city council’s new chief executive

Outsourcing of libraries has been one of the focuses of Kevin Lavery, the Englishman who is to be the new chief executive of the Wellington City Council, according to Radio New Zealand.

On Morning Report this morning, UK correspondent Olly Barratt said that Dr Lavery, the chief executive of Cornwall Council in south-west England, has pushed to outsource to private companies council services like libraries, payroll services, benefit payments and IT services. He said some of the proposals proved so controversial that the leader of the council was forced to resign.

Liberal Democrat councillor Robert Nolan told Morning Report that outsourcing is a pet project of Dr Lavery’s. “He doesn’t give up on things,” Mr Nolan said.

Read RadioNZ’s report here.

The DomPost reports that Dr Barratt has a reputation for cost-cutting. He was one of a group of short-listed candidates who were interviewed by councillors after making presentations.


  1. Shirley Burnham, 21. December 2012, 19:22

    I hope you are aware of this website in the UK. It should give you useful information
    And campaigners here in the UK would very much like to know how things progress in NZ. Please tweet @ShirleyBurnham Thanks and Best wishes.

  2. Maximus, 21. December 2012, 20:03

    This guy sounds like a complete prat! Whoever thought it was a good idea to hire him?

  3. Dave, 21. December 2012, 21:51

    I’ve often wondered why council staff have to be employed in libraries. If all the libraries in the wellington region were owned and managed by a non-profit making trust, surely there would be economies of scale, avoidance of duplication and better service by dedicated library staff away from the annual council pruning knives? Not outsourced to any profit making or commercial organization, but a dedicated community trust which could partner with schools [school libraries should be connected to such a trust] and partners and find a better way of doing things than via a council owned and controlled model. Same with sports facilities and services, and arts facilities and services. I’ll be interested to see what the new CEO suggests in these areas and whether he proves trustworthy of being our new town clerk. In my opinion, he is starting off overpaid, and should accept a 50% pay cut for a start to demonstrate his commitment to serving ratepayers. Not gouging them.

  4. Grant Buist, 22. December 2012, 5:35

    This will not end well.

  5. cornwall council employee, 22. December 2012, 12:34

    You’re welcome to Mr Lavery. When he couldn’t get away with selling the Cornish to BT, he jumped ship. Watch out Wellington

  6. Phil C, 5. March 2013, 7:09

    Has this cowboy started yet? Do you know that under his stewardship Cornwall had the highest council employee credit card bill? And just in case you are under any illusions, Kev’s attitude to privatisation, outsourcing and his opposition to democratic representation can be found in the book “Smart Contracting for Local Government Services” where he advocates the removal of democratic processes to elect councillors and says that they should be appointed by the executive. Those with the “Kiwi disease” of privatisation will lap this stuff up. Bye-bye, city of culture.

    Shame on Celia Wade-Brown. Just another Tory cloaking herself in the shabby vestments of liberalism.