$120,000 + salary for ‘climate change’ job raises eyebrows at Council

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jun 29, 2021 |

A new job opening as a “climate change lead” has raised eyebrows at the Christchurch City Council.

Staff at council contacted Chris Lynch frustrated at what they said was a “wish-washy tick boxing job.”

On job website Seek, the newly created position has a salary starting at $150,000 a year, but a council spokeswoman said that was wrong, and the starting salary was $120,000 “which is in line with the market for climate change roles of this type.”

Staff, who didn’t want to be named, questioned the need for the job’s existence saying there was already qualified people who could meet the needs of Council’s climate change objectives.

On the job posting it says “we have the opportunity to show leadership in making Christchurch a sustainable, thriving city for the future. We have big aspirations for Christchurch to be net carbon neutral by 2045 and an ambitious programme of work ahead of us. If you thrive in a varied, challenging and transformational environment, where delivery through collaboration is critical, then this is the opportunity for you.”

“In this role, you will champion our strategy, working with our partners and stakeholders internally and externally to develop and implement the actions to deliver on our aspirational goals”

A Council spokeswoman said the climate change lead role is “not an additional position, but an existing vacancy refocused towards climate change.”

“The purpose of the role is to build our capability and expertise in climate change necessary to deliver on the recently adopted Climate Resilience Strategy.”

She said “like many organisations and Councils, addressing the impacts of climate change and planning to respond to these is an area of importance and priority for the Council.”

 Councillor Sam MacDonald, who is the deputy chair of Council’s Finance and Performance Committee told Chris Lynch “councillors only employ the chief executive so besides the budget, we have no say over the composition of the Chief Executive’s staff.”

However he said he was concerned that Council was recruiting more “well paid back office staff, instead of delivering on the front line in our parks or libraries.”

“As part of the long term plan there is a report back to Council coming in response to a request from myself and James Gough on reducing personnel costs by 10% across the Council, this would appear to fly in the face of that.”

To be successful in this role the ad said you’ll be influential across multi-faceted internal and external stakeholder groups and have excellent written and verbal communication skills. You’ll be a proven strategic thinker and partnership builder.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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