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SSR Project Update - Issue 15

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

Project overview

Distribution of letters

We have confirmed that the delivery of letters for administration and finance staff will commence on 23 May and be concluded by the end of that week. Divisional HR Managers and Senior Client Services Managers are facilitating the delivery of the letters for their area and will work with Heads of Department and Managers. For staff on the Wellington and Christchurch Campuses, and the Dental School, please be aware that we are yet to confirm the delivery date for letters to these areas. You can expect to receive an additional email outlining the process in these areas.

Information sessions

We will be scheduling more detailed information sessions over the coming months and we will let you know more when these details are confirmed.

Information on Marketing & Communication, HR, 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.

In response to your questions

The SSR website - FAQs  has a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs) which is added to regularly, and which may help to answer any queries. 

Q. How will redundancy affect my superannuation?

A. There are a number of options for staff who take voluntary severance or who leave the University of Otago due to redundancy. Follow this link for detailed information:

From David Tapp

During the last two weeks I’ve travelled to the Christchurch Campus and the Wellington Campus with members of the Shared Services leadership team. This was a great opportunity to meet staff, talk about Shared Services, and provide staff in Christchurch and Wellington the opportunity to engage with the people recently appointed to leadership roles. While heading to Southland for the weekend recently I took the opportunity to visit staff at the Southland Campus on Friday with Professor Tony Ballantyne, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Humanities and Naomi Weaver, Acting Senior Manager Client Services. While I was aware of Otago’s presence in Invercargill it was great to meet staff and learn about the incredible work undertaken in our most southern campus.

As the success of Shared Services will in part be determined by the relationships we develop with staff and students using our services, visits like this are very important to me; rest assured they will continue. As someone who places huge importance on communication and team work, I value each and every opportunity to engage directly with staff. I am keen to ensure you are represented on the governance board for Shared Services as well as the formalised feedback channels. While distance can provide challenges, I am confident that with the appointment of the Senior Manager Clients Services roles: Phillip Kane (UOW) and Melissa Paton (UOC) we will have regular and open communication channels. This is critical to ensure that issues are resolved in a timely and effective way and that feedback and information are shared freely.

I would like to recognise the importance of the Wellington, Christchurch and Southland campuses to the overall success of Otago. Your contribution to both the University and the future of New Zealand, in the incredible research undertaken and the development of our country’s health and education professionals cannot be underestimated. I know I will thoroughly enjoy getting to know you better and it will be a privilege to provide shared services that supports your continued success.

Training and Support

There continues to be good support for the training programmes available to staff, as listed below, including on our Christchurch and Wellington campuses.

Details on upcoming course dates in May are online – please register your interest if you plan to attend. Further courses will be provided to meet demand.

Don't forget Career Development Advisor Jo Budai is available for one-on-one confidential and impartial support to assist people in their career choices  - contact her via

As requested by a number of staff we have arranged 1:1 consultation sessions with staff from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) on the Dunedin campus on the following afternoons:

  • Thursday 17th May
  • Tuesday 22nd May
  • Thursday 24th May

In addition to responding to your individual questions, MSD staff will be able to provide information about the implications of redundancy, entitlements for job seeker support as well as advice on the current job market and where to look for jobs. IRD representatives will provide information on tax implications and KiwiSaver payments following redundancy.

To arrange an individual consultation please email: If you already have specific queries or areas that you would like to discuss at your appointment please let us know when booking, so that we can pass these on to the MSD/IRD representative in advance of your meeting.

CV formatting workshop

A lunchtime workshop is being held on Monday 21st May from 12.05pm- 1pm for staff to set up CV and Cover Letter documents using Word (Mac or PC). Come into the Training Room and set up the basis of your CV and cover letter ready for your job application. Take it away with you by emailing a copy to yourself or saving to an external device. You may find it beneficial to attend the SSR CV Preparation Workshop prior to attending this session.

Topics covered:

  • font formatting
  • page layout
  • tabs
  • spellcheck
  • saving templates or PDFs

Booking is required for this workshop. Submit booking as soon as possible to guarantee your place. Book online - applications by phone or email not accepted.

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.

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.


Recent appointments:

  • Group Accountant, Lyn Hurring (effective 28 May 2018
  • New appointments to the Finance Advisory team, reporting to the Divisional Finance Managers:
    • Humanities and Commerce, Graham Arnold (effective 7 May 2018)
    • Sciences, Ian Sawyer (effective 8 May 2018)
    • Health Sciences – School of Biomedical Sciences, Delia Bonner (effective 30 April 2018)
    • Health Sciences – Schools of Pharmacy & Physiotherapy, Glenda Paterson
    • Health Sciences – Dunedin School of Medicine, Rachael McKinney (effective 21 May 2018)
    • Health Sciences – School of Dentistry, Wendy Swainson (effective 7 May 2018)
    • Health Sciences – University of Otago Wellington, Rose Ali
    • Health Sciences – University of Otago Christchurch, Shereen Naicker
    • Transitional role - Health Sciences Divisional Office, Chris Lake (effective 21 May 2018)
    • Operations – Property and Operations, Mike Thomson (effective 11 June 2018)
    • Operations - Campus and Collegiate Life Services Jacinta Hepperlin (effective 23 May 2018)
    • Operations - ITS and Shared Services, Margo Ferguson (effective 7 May 2018)
    • Vacancies


      • Head of Student Experience
      • Manager Client Services x 5
      • Senior Manager Finance Services
      • Group Leader Student Development
      • Manager Supply Chain
      • Manager IT Advisory (Health Sciences)
      • Advisor IT
      • Manager IT Advisory x2
      • Service Representatives AskOtago
      • Knowledgebase Administrator AskOtago
      • Team Leader AV Support
      • Graphic Designer
      • Senior Graphic Designer
      • Manager Client Services
      • Lead Administrator Client Services (Clinical)
      • Lead Administrator Client Services



      • Team Leader Research Administration
      • Marketing Advisory
      • Communications Advisory

      Staff need to log in to view internal job vacancies. 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