Waipapa-based customer service centre open

3 Aug 2017, 9:19 AM

The Northland Regional Council’s first new office in almost 30 years has been officially opened at Waipapa near Kerikeri.

Council Chairman Bill Shepherd says the new 140 square metre Klinac Lane office (opposite Waipapa’s Warehouse store) is designed to bring long-sought customer service improvements to the mid-North area.

It opened its doors to the public on Monday,  31 July after a dawn blessing by local Ngati Rehia representatives and a subsequent official ribbon cutting ceremony.

Chairman Shepherd says the centre will initially be home to up to eight mainly operational mid-North based staff and marks the council's first move into a new town since its formation almost three decades ago.

"The new service centre is in direct response to customer feedback and aims to fill what has been a 'geographic gap' in our previous customer service network."

He says the new office will allow the council to provide a broader range of services, as well as increased opportunity for customers to discuss issues with staff face-to-face.

"Not only will this encourage positive engagement, but it will further increase our understanding of local issues." (Other benefits include reduced staff travel time and increased productivity.)

Chairman Shepherd says existing regulatory, land, biosecurity and other staff who live locally, but have been working from the council's Opua, Whangarei or Kaitaia offices, are initially staffing the new Waipapa centre, bringing with them valuable local knowledge.

As well as office space for those staff, he says the Waipapa centre has a meeting room for a minimum of eight people with video-conferencing capability and a smaller meeting room for two to three people.

“My fellow councillors and I are thrilled to see this new facility open, are looking forward to strengthening our ties with the wider mid-north community and hope locals will make good use of it.”