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SSR Project Update - Issue 13

This project update for the Support Services Review has some insights from Shared Services Director David Tapp, alongside details about the staff information sessions, training, support, appointments and vacancies.  

Please continue to send through any questions or comments for this newsletter or the website using the ‘Have your say’ form

Information sessions

The next session on 4 May will cover both the Communications Service and the Marketing Service.

Information on IT, Student Experience, AskOtago, Client Services, and Finance is available online at SSR website - Implementation Updates. If you have questions in regard to Client Services, please contact us, or you can discuss with your Client Services Manager.

The HR session from 27 April will be available online shortly.

In response to your questions

We have updated the SSR website with responses to a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

A question has been asked about the impact of AskOtago space on existing use of the Link, particularly during hosted functions.

The Union is aware of the design of the new space and will be considering how best to arrange events in the Link to suit. There are doors between the Link and the new AskOtago space in the Central Library, which can be closed off if need be. It should be noted that the Link is not expected to attract significantly more traffic, as it is already a high-traffic area. And while the space will be rearranged, there will be no loss of seating.

From David Tapp

Progress continues with St David 2 and you may have noticed the fencing blocking off the street has been removed. Great to see the space opening up again. There is a site visit happening later this week and I look forward to seeing the progress that has been made. You may have noticed the exterior of the building looking a bit different with painting and the installation of windows. I plan to take lots of photos and share these with you

I’m in the process of planning an information session to give you the opportunity to find out more about me and to meet members of the Shared Services leadership team. I think it is important that I share with you the kind of environment I like to create to allow teams and the individuals within them to achieve results. We also hope to be able to share floor plans, architect images and if possible show you some of the furniture and furnishings that will be in St David 2. More information about this session will be available shortly.

During the week I have continued to meet many staff across campus. One issue recurring in these meetings is concern about the ability of Shared Services to respond to the changes in workloads, i.e. the peaks and troughs that different parts of the University experience at different times. The ability to meet peaks in demand for services is a key feature of shared services in the future.

I am confident that over time we will be able to effectively resource Shared Services to address these demands. Key to success in this area is knowing and understanding the different peaks and troughs, proactively seeking and responding to feedback about the services we provide and also having in place really great training and multi skilling programmes so that the Shared Services team have the skills, tools and flexibility to meet the needs of students and staff. Building this capability will be a priority over the next two years.

Training and Support

Outlined below are details on a range of training and support options currently available.

Support for staff in Christchurch and Wellington

Jo Budai will be in Wellington on 3 and 4 May, and Christchurch on 9 and 10 May. All the workshops detailed below and 1:1 Career Development Advice with Jo will be available for staff. For more information or to register for a workshop or 1:1 session, please email us at

CV preparation workshops

To assist staff in preparing CVs and cover letters to help present your skills, knowledge and experience effectively to prospective managers and employers

Interview Skills Workshops

To help prepare your responses to questions during interviews and how to present your best self.

Prosci® Fundamentals of Change Management

For project leaders and those with managerial responsibilities. It covers change management, including understanding and applying the Prosci* ADKAR Model for individual change.

Deciding My Future: making good job choices

Focuses on what is important to consider when making choices about future job and career options.

A workbook will be provided to you when you register so attendees can complete required pre-work.

Career Development Adviser

Joanna Budai is available for one-on-one confidential and impartial support to assist people in their career choices - contact her via

EAP - staff support

We remind staff that you can access personal support through the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). A new feature is that EAP now offers financial and budgeting advice, as well as other counselling services.

EAP services are available to staff at any time through the existing provider, Stratos Ltd. EAP services are confidential to you and based on a self-referral system. There is no requirement to advise or make a request to your manager. Further information can be found in the EAP section of the HR website.


This week we are delighted to have 14 staff join AskOtago in Services Representative roles. They have commenced a comprehensive training programme that will run for a number of weeks including workshops, visits around the University and presentations. Welcome to our new staff members and a big thank you to everyone who has assisted with putting this training together!

We are excited to be expanding our AskOtago whanau and are currently advertising, both internally and externally, for the following positions: Services Representatives (rosters 1 and 3 only, see job description for further details), Senior Services Representatives (who will hold expertise in areas such as Student Experience, IT or handling enquiries from prospective International students), and the Knowledgebase Administrators. If you think any of these positions might be for you, please take a look at the job descriptions and consider applying. These positions all close on the 30th of April.

We would also welcome feedback on the AskOtago knowledgebase. Please take a look and if you have any feedback on existing FAQ’s or suggestions for new ones, please email


Recent appointments:

  • AskOtago Service Representatives x14
  • Manager Client Services BMS: Sally Ann Howard
  • Director Marketing: Todd Gordon
  • Manager Events: Lucy Wiseman
  • Senior Manager IT Infrastructure: Daryl Clarkson
  • Senior Manager Information Systems: Gavin Bainbridge
  • Manager IT Projects Unit: Bruce Norris
  • Shared Services Manager Performance and Delivery: Naomi Weaver



  • Head of Student Experience
  • Manager Client Services x 5
  • Senior Manager Finance Services
  • Group Leader Student Development
  • Manager Finance x 10
  • Manager Strategic Finance
  • Manager Supply Chain
  • Group Leader AskOtago
  • Group Accountant



  • Team Leader Administration Support Services
  • Coach Performance and Delivery
  • Specialist Events
  • Coordinator Events
  • Assistant Events

Additional positions may be advertised during this time. For a full list of vacancies please be sure to check the Current Vacancies section of the HR website.

We welcome your feedback on the project implementation as it progresses. Contact us to discuss, or let us know if you need more information at

From the Support Services Review Project Team