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David Farrar: Which govt departments have grown the most?

There has been a 34% increase over six years in the size of the public service, in terms of EFTS. But not all agencies have grown by the same proportion.

Here are the 10 with the largest relative increases between 2017 and 2023:

1. Pacific Peoples 269%
2. Environment 189%
3. Transport 101%
4. MBIE 87%
5. Statistics 85%
6. Women 78%
7. Public Service Cmsn 74%
8. Culture & Heritage 68%
9. Defence 65%
10. Education 64%

So 10 departments have had staff increases of greater than 64%. Amazing.

By absolute growth we have:

1. MBIE 2,917
2. Social Development 2,277
3. Education 1,679
4. Oranga Tamariki 1,340
5. MPI 1,300
6. Justice 1,122
7. Corrections 1,073
8. Statistics 779
9. Environment 661
10. Internal Affairs 597

David Farrar runs Curia Market Research, a specialist opinion polling and research agency, and the popular Kiwiblog where this article was sourced. He previously worked in Parliament for eight years, serving two National Party Prime Ministers and three Opposition Leaders.

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The current crisis in New Zealand due to prior Government Maori Treaty & Inclusion policies for media and public services

Recent news reports and job losses highlight a crisis in New Zealand's public services and media sector. The prior Government's high-demand policy for these sectors to focus and structure so as to include Maori at any cost is seen by some as a contributing factor to this crisis.

The inclusion policy the Ardern-Labour government imposed on media and public sector services was implemented without sufficient consideration for financial sustainability in the small NZ market. This has now led to added massive costs, service closures, media failures, and job losses.

There has been very little explanation as to the overall cost to NZ despite…

Replying to

Well said. Sweeping & urgent reforms are needed. Once that rot is established, there is significant reluctance. & inertia when it come to removing it. Especially as private organisations also bought into the mindless & pointless BS. Hato Hone St John is a prime example. What on earth were they thinking? What did they hope to achieve other than confusion? Pure tokenism & insultingly disrespectful to boot.


I have read all the comments and most if not all seem to think that we need massive cuts yet few of us are actually involved in the civil service nor have that many intimate commercial dealings with them.

We are also at a time in our social environment when many if not most of our citizens are looking to the state to provide more, more health care, more protection, more intervention, more education, more housing and yes, even more money so how are the government to do this without more staff.

Some of us, including myself, may have worked for the government in the past and maybe even the present but at what level and delivering what.

While I…

Replying to

Actually our government spending as a percentage of gdp is still quite low comparative to many other economies.

Unforunately we have a sector of society that feel entitled and so far I see no easy solution to that and i started looking at the problem many many years ago and so far nothing that has been tried has worked.

I hope the current lot have a plan but I sincerely doubt it will work if they do.


"The problem with captured media liberty, corrupt elections and digital lies applied to both photography and currency value is that they represent pure Stalinism in the form of 67% Vodka designed to wipe out 100% of human social discernment.

That is to say, reality so misinformed it is worthless surreal mendacity: as Plato correctly predicted in his musings, “The fastest road to dictatorship is an uninformed and misinformed electorate”. ".


We’re not quite finished. Just another 3 years is what we need.

These words from the witch after running out of steam …. said leading into the October election.

On what planet are those that voted for the party of unionists, broken teachers and homosexuals…….

Apr 10
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Planet Aotearoa… it’s now in a galaxy far far away.


no real surprises here, socialist governments need more citizens relient on handouts. In their usual condesending way they have allocacted most resourses (tax money) to the brown faces in a Trojan Horse way of funding more Maori on work avoidence schemes..

MBIE is a woke cause and should be put down. Defense is a joke as we could not afford 1 nuclear warhead if we werer allowed and no one is scared of us. As for Social development and OT, its just a lolly scramble for the usual suspects with grievance and no intention to get off their sorry arses.

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