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New Zealand’s Vbase slashes staff by 60%

Christchurch City Council-owned venues and events company Vbase Limited has confirmed the outcome of its proposal to reduce permanent staff by 60%.

Vbase owns and manages New Zealand’s Christchurch Town Hall and Horncastle Arena on behalf of the people of Christchurch and manages Airforce Museum of NZ, Orangetheory Stadium and the Hagley Oval on behalf of other venue owners.

The proposal, released earlier this month, was a direct response to the 100% loss of event revenue at the company since 17 March and the forecast slow recovery of the events sector, particularly as it relates to international events, over the next 12 to 18 months.

Following consultation and feedback from staff and other key stakeholders several changes were made to the original proposal resulting in the retention of some additional roles and the disestablishment of others.

The company had originally proposed the disestablishment of 45 roles along with the potential for a further nine roles to be disestablished following an internal selection process. The final outcome of the process confirmed 49 redundancies. This represents 60% of permanent staff.

All casual staff and 34 full and part-time roles have been retained to support the foreseeable needs of the company and clients.

In a statement the Vbase Board of Directors said:

We are grateful for the consideration given to the change proposal by all staff.  We recognise and respect their professional engagement in the process and support of the company and each other under such challenging circumstances.

Management is now focussed on supporting the people who will be leaving Vbase over the coming weeks, progressing a programme of business improvement and preparing for a staged re-opening of the venues under Covid-19 Alert Level 1.

Image: The Hagley Oval – courtesy of Canterbury Cricket

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