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LINDSAY MITCHELL: Cuts will only scratch the surface

While this morning’s news heralded 134 job losses at the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Development has just announced their own plan to achieve the 6.5% savings requested by the new government:


We will begin by offering people in some parts of our organisation the choice of voluntary redundancy. People will be able to apply until April 15. At this stage we don’t have a specific target of how many voluntary redundancies we are seeking. Those in frontline roles will not be able to apply for voluntary redundancy.


After this voluntary redundancy process, it is likely there will be a further process targeting role reductions in some areas, mainly within our National Office in Wellington.


Of course, opposition parties, left-wing media and unions are describing these cuts as cruel and disgraceful.


But has anyone looked at the growth that has preceded these cuts?


In 2018, according to their annual report, MSD had “6,725 full-time-equivalent staff positions”.


By 2023 that had grown to “9,329 full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff positions”


That’s a 39 percent growth in full-time staff.


RNZ is reporting that MSD is “calling for mass voluntary redundancies.” The word “mass” does not appear anywhere in the MSD release. That’s RNZ’s own invention. If it was possible to achieve “mass” redundancies in affected areas, apparently “human resources, policy, strategy and communications” that indicates those departments are well and truly over-staffed anyway.


Looking at MSD’s core responsibilities it is fair to say the extra 39% staff added in the last 5 years has achieved no improvement.


Their key message is, “We help New Zealanders to be safe, strong and independent.”


Yet there are many more people on benefits (including more children in benefit-dependent households) and people are staying dependent longer. And it would be a stretch too far to claim that people are feeling safer.


What is disappointing is that the staff cuts (like those across the whole public service) will not take levels back to where they were in 2017/18 (with possible allowance for population growth). They will merely continue the growth of government in the entrenched 3 steps forward – 1 step back pattern that has become all too familiar over many decades.



Lindsay Mitchell blogs here


3,289 views56 comments

56 comentários


This new government needs to pull all Department and Agency heads before an inquiry, and questions asked should be: why were there huge increases in staffing levels before an election, even when Hipkins announced that there would be cuts?,What benefits have these increases brought to NZ? and finally, are these "leaders" prepared to back the new government's agenda.

If not, they should go.

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The other problem is that voluntary redundancies is lazy and craven management.


A real leader would look at the organization and determine what staff are needed for streamlined, effective operations, and make the remainder redundant.


Voluntary redundancies mean that you're likely to lose the most effective, the most productive and the most intelligent of your staff.

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Rumpole Bailey
Rumpole Bailey
05 de abr.

The starting point for Burecracy job cuts should be the 16,000 extra staff employed by Labour, any (very few) who can demonstrate that their ppsition delivered actuaal benefits of value to NZers may re apply. Then instruct all depts they have 6 months to demonstarte they can deliver Ministers expectations, failure will mean a further round of cuts -rinse and repeat until depts deliver or cease to exist.

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basilwnz
basilwnz
05 de abr.
Respondendo a

Agree - what a damn mess these socialists created. The whole nation suffers with this nonsense. Tough love way overdue; it has to happen.

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Jim Dowsett
Jim Dowsett
05 de abr.

Bloody depressing. Our gradual decline to become another ‘pacific nation’, just like Samoa or Tonga.


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Fundamentally flawed to think we as a nation need our social development directed by a government department. Afuera!

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